Barry Sanders Deserves Five Stars

Those of you that follow this site know that I have never been a big fan of stars in ranking recruits. The way I have always seen it you can either play at the Division I level or you can't and sometimes even the top coaches and recruiters make mistakes. Many of them once made a mistake in not recruiting a smallish kid from Kansas named Barry Sanders. You know how his career ended up going.

Now in Oklahoma City there is another Barry Sanders, and yes, he told me Monday night that calling him Barry Jr. is fine as that is how he often introduces himself to coaches.

So far this season Sanders has rushed for 251 yards on 26 carries in two games. He has scored two rushing touchdowns, caught a 38-yard touchdown pass and also scored on an 85-yard kickoff return. Having watched him play varsity football at Heritage Hall the last two years and two games of his junior season, I would call him a 5-star recruit.

"This is all you can ask for and I'm having fun with it," said Sanders of embracing following in his father's footsteps. "It won't last forever all the attention and the fun of playing football, so I am going to make the most of it and enjoy it."

Sanders, who is also a baseball standout, is a good student and differs from his father in that he is very gregarious and loves talking to people.

For the record he is 5-10, 185 pounds. He has run a 4.31 in the forty and has a 215-pound bench press max and a 405 max on the squat. Last season he carried 213 times for 1,707 yards and 22 touchdowns. He is also a standout at cornerback on defense. Bottom line he is very versatile.

His scholarship offers at this point include Oklahoma State, Arizona, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Alabama, Mississippi, and Auburn. He also reported that he has been hearing from Florida State a lot.

He has been to almost every Oklahoma State home game the last three seasons and a lot of road games and bowl games as he attends the games sometimes as a recruit and sometimes with friends and business associates of his father or with is father. He admits that he will have to deal with seperating himself from being a fan.

"It is going to be hard to separate myself from being a fan (of Oklahoma State) and being a recruit," said Sanders. "Not impossible, but tough. I know I need to go to the best program that fits me. I'm looking at coaching and I want to play for a well respected coach. I want to go to a stable program."

Sanders was asked whether his longtime fandom for his dad's alma mater is an advantage or disadvantage for Oklahoma State.

"I know what to expect at Oklahoma State and I think that is an advantage," he said. "I know the people and the relationships. It is a great program with all those new facilities.

"Right now they have a lot of young players and that is showing in games, but that also means those young players will be older players by the time I would be there. All those are advantages. I don't know what the disadvantages are. It might be that I am adventuresome and I may want to go out someplace else," he added.

Right now Sanders is squarely focused on what he and the unbeaten Heritage Hall Chargers have this Friday on the road in one of the state's top high school games at Davis.

He did say that he will not rush his recruiting and plans to take his time and soak it in as much as he can in order to find the right place for him in college. The recruiting is just really beginning for Sanders and there is plenty of time to move him up but Scout may want to take my advice and go ahead and pass out those stars early.

I know what kind of player Barry Sanders is, the first one and now his son. No one may ever be as good as the original but Barry Jr. is definitely a 5-star.


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