Running back Barry J. Sanders, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders, announced Thursday he'll transfer to Oklahoma State, per Kyle Fredrickson of the Oklahoman.
“They’ve got my full commitment and I’m looking forward to being there come late June,” said Sanders, per Fredrickson.
The 21-year-old ball-carrier was granted his release from Stanford after being a member of the Cardinal's program from 2012 to 2015. He will be eligible to play right away since he's going the graduate transfer route, which doesn't mandate he sit out a full season before playing.
Sanders simply didn't have much of a chance to see the field this past season due to the presence of Cardinal star Christian McCaffrey, who set the NCAA single-season record for all-purpose yards. The record was coincidentally held by Sanders' father when he starred at Oklahoma State.
Since McCaffrey is still at Stanford, it was a wise choice for Sanders to leave and position himself for a chance at a larger role. He did well in his limited time but ran for only 315 yards in each of the past two seasons.
Although it had to be frustrating to ride the pine most of the time with the Cardinal, Sanders ought to be well prepared to make an impact for the Cowboys. He's hardly had any wear and tear during his college career and should be fresh and eager to prove himself with a renewed hope at being a feature back.
Also working in Sanders' favor is the rigorous studying he had to do at Stanford—and that isn't in reference to the university's highly regarded academics.
The Cardinal deploy a pro-style offense, which requires a more comprehensive understanding of complex terminology and schematics than the spread-based systems most teams run in the modern era. It stands to reason Sanders will pick up his new playbook quickly and be positioned for an instant impact.
If he's meant to have any hope of progressing to the NFL level, Sanders needs to put together some good tape in 2016. That simply couldn't have happened at Stanford presuming McCaffrey continued his historic production, so Oklahoma State has to be excited to welcome Sanders into the fold to see what he can do.