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Former football star uses mental health battle to help others

Former star football player helping young athletes on and off the field
Former star football player helping young athletes on and off the field

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Tony Sands was the “baddest dude” on the football field, according to his best friend, Hall-of-Famer Michael Irvin.

He proved it by breaking NCAA single-game records for rushing yards and carries in 1991.

But after his career ended, Sands struggled with mental health.

He contemplated suicide and even mapped out how he would carry it out, but after opening up to his wife, Sands sought help.

Now, Sands is using his personal battle to help others who face similar struggles.

He’s written a book, “I was before my time,” and acts as a mentor to young athletes.


About the Authors:

Clay Ferraro joined the Local 10 News team in 2014 to take his dream job: covering big-time sports at a first-class station in paradise. 

Will Manso came back home to South Florida when he joined Local 10 in March of 1999. During his time here, Will has kept busy by working in sports, news and he's even dabbled in entertainment. He is now Local 10's sports director and also enjoys the chance to serve as host for special shows on Local 10.