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Super 30: Barry J. Sanders remains grounded despite constant attention

FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: July 23, 2011

The Heritage Hall football team hasn't had what could be classified as a normal practice in the last couple of years.

No, the practices are more like auditions than anything else. College coaches have flocked to the Charger campus for a chance to get a glimpse of some of the state's best talent.

Some are looking at defensive stalwarts Markus Wakefield and Quintaz Struble. Others might be taking a gander at Oklahoma commit Sterling Shepard. But the insanity began with one running back, Barry J. Sanders.

It didn't start this year, but it's finally going to come to an end as Sanders enters his senior season. Nos. 2-5 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 list of the top recruits for the class of 2012 have all committed to their respective school.

Sanders, who stands alone at No. 1, hasn't, meaning the aggressive media attention will only intensify in the coming months.

He's definitely used to it by now, but there still come times when it gets frustrating for Sanders.

Anytime he takes a visit some place, the speculation begins on whether or not that school is now Sanders' favorite.

“It can get annoying, but I'm still feeling pretty good,” Sanders said. “It's not nearly as bad as it could be because I've let a lot of schools know how I'm feeling.”

Though others have tried to creep up in his list, Sanders has remained adamant with his list of Florida State, Oklahoma State, Alabama, UCLA and Stanford as his favorites.

The constant media attention could be enough to create a distraction for Heritage Hall, and that's where the teammates come in.

“He's the same Barry,” wide receiver Cale Courtney said. “He's the same kind of person he was when I met him in seventh grade.”

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