IOWA CITY, Iowa - - Former University of Iowa defensive back Bob Sanders will serve as honorary captain when Iowa hosts Purdue at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday (11:01 a.m., ESPN2).
Sanders earned second-team All-America honors by The Associated Press as a senior in 2003. He was a Permanent Team Captain and Most Valuable Player for the Iowa defense, while also earning the Hayden Fry “Extra Heartbeat” Award.
After missing three games early in his senior season due to injury, Sanders went on to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors for the third straight season. He was honorable mention All-Big Ten as a freshman. Sanders was elected to the UI athletics Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 2018.
Sanders, a native of Erie, Pennsylvania, (Cathedral Prep High School) recorded 348 career tackles and currently ranks 11th in career stops. He recorded 25 tackles against Indiana in 2001, which remains the fourth-best single game total in school history. As a senior he led the nation in forced fumbles (six) and led the Big Ten in recovered fumbles (three), while also sharing team MVP honors.
Sanders helped the Hawkeyes to a 28-10 record in his final three seasons, as Iowa won the Big Ten title in 2002. The Hawkeyes won the 2001 Alamo Bowl and the 2004 Outback Bowl. Iowa won 11 games in 2002 and 10 in 2003, including 24 of the final 30 games that Sanders played.
Following his Iowa career, Sanders was selected in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft (44th selection overall) by the Indianapolis Colts. He played eight seasons in the NFL, seven with Indianapolis and one with the San Diego Chargers.
Sanders played a key role for the Colts when they defeated Chicago, 29-17, in Super Bowl XLI in Miami following the 2006 season, collecting two tackles, a forced fumble, and pass interception.
Sanders was named the 2007 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first Colt player, and just the fourth safety in league history, to earn that honor. He was named first-team All-Pro in 2005 and 2007 and was a Pro Bowl selection following each of those seasons. His career totals in 50 NFL games include over 300 tackles and six interceptions, four recovered fumbles, and two forced fumbles.
Sanders will accompany the Iowa captains to midfield for Saturday’s pregame coin toss. He will also be with the Hawkeyes in the locker room before and after the game.