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Deion ‘Prime Time’ Sanders continues championing SWFL youth football

Some of us know him as “Prime Time” or “Neon Deion,” and, soon, some athletes in our area will know him as coach.

We learned about how former pro athlete Deion Sanders is creating new opportunities for football players to reach the next level.

“I’m right back where it all started in the 239,” Sanders said.

The homegrown hall of famer invited Southwest Florida area athletes with big dreams to meet him on the gridiron Friday at Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers.

“I think it’s a good chance for us to show what we got since has come back and he’s hosting this 7-on-7 trial for us,” Malik Curtis said.

Sanders said this is an opportunity that local high school athletes wouldn’t have otherwise, and that’s why he took it upon himself to open a pathway for them.

“They’re undiscovered. They just don’t receive the right recognition or opportunities or proper resources,” Sanders said. “If I could just lend a hand to that. I think we’ve won.”

That’s why the two-time Super Bowl champion spent a couple hours leading local football players in grades nine through 11 through tryouts.

“I’m looking for difference makers. I’m looking for game changers,” Sanders said.

And whoever impressed Sanders would be chosen for his “239 Prime” 7-on-7 team.

“I was on the team last year with a couple others,” Carter Lane said. “It’s awesome, the fact that he’s from here, and he’s given us this opportunity to play for him and go places with him.”

“As far as talent, the State of Florida is full,” said.

As a former North Fort Myers Red Knight, “Neon Deion: is passionate about mentoring young athletes from the area he was raised and came up as a student-athlete to become a professional.

More than six dozen athletes tried out for Sanders at his clinic. They await the announcement of his selections to the “Prime 239” 7-on-7 football team.

“Just seeing these kids mature and develop and young men and get their education,” Sanders said.

Reporter:Melinda Lee
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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