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Barry J. Sanders expected to commit to Stanford

BARRY J. SANDERS — The Oklahoman has learned Barry J. Sanders, the high school football standout from Heritage Hall, is expected to commit to Stanford on Saturday at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. A source close to Sanders said they are “confident he will announce Stanford.”
BY JASON KERSEY, Staff Writer, jkersey@opubco.com Modified: January 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm •  Published: January 5, 2012
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Now that the academics are in order, the son of Oklahoma State’s greatest all-time football player is ready to blaze his own path.

Heritage Hall senior Barry J. Sanders, the eighth-best running back prospect in the country, according to Rivals, is expected to commit to Stanford over OSU at Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

A source close to Sanders told The Oklahoman on Thursday they are “confident he will announce Stanford” as his college choice at the game.

In December, Heritage Hall coach Andy Bogert said Stanford and OSU were Sanders’ top two choices, and in that order.

One of the biggest factors playing into the decision, Bogert said then, was Stanford’s higher academic standards. Sanders was still working to get qualified at the Pac-12 school.

But Sanders, in a telephone interview from San Antonio, said he has now met Stanford’s requirements.

He preferred not to say which school he’ll commit to, but did say the decision is made.

“I am looking forward to (announcing),” Sanders said. “It is just the place that I felt most comfortable at. I think it’s the right place, and every day I feel comfortable with it.”

Sanders has spent this week in San Antonio, practicing with his fellow All-Americans and preparing for his life-changing announcement.

“Things are moving a lot faster than we’re used to,” he said of practices.

“The practice speed is much faster, but guys are getting after it. There’s a lot of talent out here; I think it will help me adjust to the greater pace at the next level.”

The decision between Stanford and Oklahoma State tugged at two integral, but very different, parts of his personality and livelihood.

Sanders has grown up an OSU fan. That’s what happens when your father is a Cowboy legend; Barry Sanders won the 1988 Heisman Trophy at OSU before embarking on one of the greatest NFL careers ever.

“I’ve bled orange for a long time,” Sanders said in December.

“I don't think that's ever gonna change, no matter what.”

The younger Sanders was spotted celebrating on the Boone Pickens Stadium field after the Cowboys' 44-10 blowout of Oklahoma in early December.

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