Stanford may have lost out to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl last week, but the Cardinal football team evened the score by recruiting away Oklahoma prep star Barry J. Sanders, son of NFL Hall of Famer Barry Sanders.
The younger Sanders announced his decision to attend Stanford over Oklahoma State following the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday in San Antonio, Texas.
"I think everyone understood my position (about the college choice)," Barry J. Sanders said, wearing a black hat with the block Cardinal "S" on the front. "That program (Oklahoma State) made my family, and I thank them for it. I'll always have orange in my blood."
Sanders' performance Saturday was a bit like his father's sensational NFL career -- he could have done more before he left.
The younger Sanders will get his chance to show more next season at Stanford after announcing his that he would not follow in his father's footsteps at Oklahoma State. Sanders had only three carries in the game, including a 10-yard touchdown run, and his West all-star teammates defeated the East, 24-12.
Sanders' father, the 1988 Heisman Trophy winner at Oklahoma State, stood near his son and other family members when Barry J. announced his decision to go to Stanford on national television.
"I get a chance to play with, you know, I think the greatest student-athletes in the world," Sanders said on the telecast after putting on a Stanford cap. "I think they've been improving and
they've got a bright future."
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Sanders is the 15th-best prospect nationally, regardless of position, according to MaxPreps. He rushed for 1,343 yards (9.5 average) and scored 27 touchdowns this past season in leading the Heritage Hall Chargers to the Class 3A semifinals. He was rated the No. 8 running back in the country, according to the Bootleg.com.
In addition to Stanford and Oklahoma State, Sanders had Florida State and Alabama on his list of college choices. National Signing Day is Feb. 1 and verbal commitments are not binding.