In 1988, Barry Sanders set the NCAA record for most rushing yards in a single season with 2,628. This was a part of a season that would end with Sanders being awarded the Heisman Trophy. His record still stands today, with the closest anyone has come to beating it being Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon rushing for 2,587 yards in 2014.
Sanders also ranks third all time in career rushing yards with 15,268, behind Walter Payton, who has 16,726, and Emmitt Smith, who has 18,355. However when you average those numbers out based on how many season they played, Sanders averaged about 1,527 yards a season while Smith and Payton both averaged in the 1,200s. This shows just how dominant Sanders was, and if he played as long as the Smith and Payton he could very well be the all time leader in rushing yards.
Barry Sanders spent 10 years in the NFL, and over those years he eclipsed 1,000 yards in a season 10 times. That’s right, there was not a season that he played in where he did not break 1,000 yards. Even in 1993, when he only played in 11 games, he still rushed for over 1,100 yards. This ranks at second all time, just one season behind Emmitt Smith.
In 1997, Sanders had one of the most remarkable seasons by a running back anyone has ever seen. During this campaign, he rushed for at least 100 yards in 14 straight games, something that had never been done before. He still holds this record and has the lead by three games, as Marcus Allen made it 11 straight for the Raiders over the course of the 1985 and 1986 seasons.
76 times in his career, Barry sanders rushed for at least 100 yards in a single game. That is good for third all time, with Walter Payton having done it 77 times and Emmitt Smith at 78. However what makes this even more impressive is Sanders did it in just 153 games, where Payton and Smith played in 190 and 226 games respectively. Essentially, there was about a 50 percent chance that any given game Sanders would break 100 rushing yards.