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. But Sanders also has a quiet, laid-back demeanor. At Stanford, he would be able to go about his daily business in relative anonymity. He knows that from experience; during one visit to Palo Alto, he had a quiet, uninterrupted lunch in the middle of campus with two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up Andrew Luck. Academic requirements for athletes at Stanford are among the most stringent in Division I. Now that Sanders has met them, he’s ready to join the Cardinal’s football program, which is 23-3 in the last two seasons with two straight BCS bowl appearances. Stanford’s prostyle scheme was more appealing to Sanders than Oklahoma State’s one-back offense, Bogert said last month. And although the Cardinal will return two-year starter Stepfan Taylor, Sanders could see playing time as a true freshman. Sanders is said to be the only running back Stanford is recruiting. OSU’s roster is deep at running back with current sophomores Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith and freshman Herschel Sims. The Cowboys have no current running back commits in the Class of 2012, although five-star prospect Trey Williams, a Texas A&M commit from Spring, Texas, will reportedly visit Oklahoma State on Jan. 28. As for Saturday’s game, Sanders said he expects to get no more than about 10 carries. But the biggest moment will certainly be when he is pulled away from the game to make his announcement. Lots of college football prospects declare their commitments at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, so Sanders said while he knows his turn will come during the game, he doesn’t know when. The game will be Saturday at noon, and will be televised nationally by NBC. Sanders rushed for 1,343 yards and added 27 total touchdowns during his senior season at Heritage Hall. The Chargers lost 14-7 to Cascia Hall in the Class 3A semifinals, when Sanders was held out of the end zone from the 1-yard line with under a minute left.