CHARLOTTE (CBS) — Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders had high praise for CBS3’s Ukee Washington while crashing a live shot at Bank of America Stadium prior to the Philadelphia Eagles-Carolina Panthers game on Thursday Night Football.

“You don’t understand the impact you had on me,” Sanders said. “You were a hero in our inner city. We looked up to you. Everything you exemplified was class and professionalism.”

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Washington has known Sanders since the former NFL superstar was 14 years old.

Sanders grew up in Fort Myers, Florida, while Washington was a sportscaster at a television station there prior to coming to CBS3.

“I value our relationship. We have a tremendous one for a lifetime,” Sanders told Washington.

Speaking about the game, Sanders called both Carson Wentz and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton “phenomenal.”

“You got two quarterbacks that are playing phenomenal. I like the Cam under pressure, I like the Cam under scrutiny, I like the Cam when his back is up against the wall he comes out and performs and I can’t wait to see that guy tonight,” said Sanders.

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You can catch the game tonight on CBS3. The kickoff show begins at 7 p.m.