District 3A-3: Barry Sanders says recruiting battle 'wide open,' takes attention in stride

Sanders, a big OSU fan and the son of NFL Hall of Famer Barry Sanders, lists Oklahoma State, Notre Dame and Tennessee as early favorites of his seven offers.
By Robert Przybylo, Staff Writer, bprzybylo@opubco.com Modified: August 15, 2010 at 10:06 am •  Published: August 14, 2010

It's not hard to determine Barry Sanders' favorite college team.

Sanders, a star running back for Heritage Hall and the son of NFL Hall of Famer Barry Sanders, hasn't hidden the fact that he's a big Oklahoma State fan. He wears the jerseys to the games and has been to around 15-20 OSU contests, he said.

It's his father who was a legend while playing for the Cowboys. It's his father's name on the Supercenter car dealership in Stillwater. The Sanders name carries a ton of weight in Stillwater.

But as the younger Sanders begins his junior year on the field in a couple of weeks, how does his love of the Cowboys play into his decision of where to attend college?

"It's wide open right now," Sanders said. "It's going to come down to a lot of things. I've got a great support system of family and friends that will help me when it's time."

Sanders has listed OSU, Notre Dame and Tennessee as his three early favorites of his seven offers. The battle is nowhere near done, and for the most part, it really hasn't even begun. There are still several schools he'd like to see and probably several that will still come knocking on his door.

He got a taste of what it's going to be like this summer at the prestigious Top Gun Camp in Williamsburg, Va., where he was named one of the top underclassmen by Rivals.com.

Sanders said he couldn't count the number of times while he was there that people wanted to introduce themselves just to say hey. Participating in the camp itself was the only time Sanders could relax.

He got to see what lies in his future, watching people hound running backs Malcolm Brown of Cibolo, Texas, and Aaron Green of San Antonio.

Brown is ranked as the 10th-ranked prospect in the nation by Rivals. He has offers from a list of who's who in college football, including Oklahoma, Alabama and Texas. Green has 27 offers, including the usual suspects of OU, Alabama, Texas and USC.

"They all had their own (recruiting) stories," Sanders said. "They said it can be pretty annoying at times. They don't even want to answer their phones. I know it's going to be rough."

There isn't much universities can do during the summer, but Heritage Hall coach Andy Bogert said the attention regarding Sanders increased in the spring months.

Sanders is accustomed to the attention at this point. Most still refer to him as Barry Sanders Jr., though technically that's not correct.



District 3A-3 coaches' poll

1. Kingfisher (12-3)*

2. Heritage Hall (8-5)*

3. Bethany (7-4)*

4. Newcastle (4-6)*

5. John Marshall (9-3)*

6. Centennial (4-6)*

7. SeeWorth Academy (1-9)*

* Denotes new to district

2009 record in parentheses

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