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Each school recruiting football star Barry J. Sanders offers something different

RECRUITING BARRY J. SANDERS — Barry J. Sanders has narrowed his college choices down to four — Alabama, Florida State, Oklahoma State and Stanford. Each of the four schools has something a little different to offer Sanders, from playing time to the comfort of home to academic possibilities.
BY JASON KERSEY, Staff Writer, jkersey@opubco.com Modified: December 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm •  Published: December 16, 2011
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Barry J. Sanders has narrowed his college choices down to four — Alabama, Florida State, Oklahoma State and Stanford.

Stanford and Oklahoma State are his favorites, with Stanford currently holding a slight edge.

Sanders will announce his choice on Jan. 7 at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.

Here is a look at how Sanders would fit with each of the programs.

ALABAMA

The Crimson Tide has stayed very interested in Sanders, visiting weekly, Heritage Hall coach Andy Bogert said.

Alabama didn't have a premier running back in its recruiting class last year, and wants to get one in 2012, according to Greg Ostendorf, a recruiting analyst for Alabama's local Rivals.com site.

2011 signee Demetrius Hart, of Orlando, Fla., is more of a “scat back,” Ostendorf said, and not the featured back the team needs. Hart tore his ACL before his freshman season and hasn't played.

Four-star athlete and FSU commit Kenyon Drake, of Powder Springs, Ga., is a possibility, Ostendorf said, but some question his ability to be a featured back in the mold of Trent Richardson or Mark Ingram.

“They need a guy who can handle the load,” Ostendorf said. “They don't have that in last year's class or this year's class — yet.”

FLORIDA STATE

Florida State likes Sanders because of his home-run speed, said recruiting analyst Michael Langston of Florida State's Rivals site.

It's a trait the Seminoles need after Chris Thompson broke his back earlier this season against Wake Forest, leaving his future in question.

“He can be a weapon in their offense and take it the distance,” Langston said of Sanders. “They have plenty of guys that have the power and are even quick, but they don't have a lot of guys like Barry.”

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