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The decision whether or not to play for his father's Cowboys is probably a difficult one for the young running back. To play for them would be like a dream come true in many respects—what young boy doesn't grow up wanting to be just like his father, especially when your father is Barry Sanders.
The issues arise, however, when the realization sets in that if Sanders Jr. follows his father's path, the comparisons will be endless and the pressure burdensome.
The team, the conference, the stadium, and the opponents will all be the same. The expectations will be the same, and therein lies the problem—while very talented, Barry Sanders Jr. is not his father. He may be better, worse, or equally talented as his father, but the issue at Oklahoma State will not be how good Barry Sanders Jr. is, but instead how much does he resemble his father.
Sanders Jr. says his family is not pressuring him in any direction, and hopefully this is true. It would be a shame to see a talented young athlete have to deal with monstrous expectations unless that was the path that he truly wanted to take.
Who knows, Sanders Jr. may choose Oklahoma State and could certainly thrive in the situation, but evaluating the issue at the moment leads to the conclusion that very little can be gained by following his father. However the expectations and pressures associated with such a move could cost him dearly in the long run.
Every bad game will be severely scrutinized. Every fumble, every missed cut, and every dropped pass will be run on SportsCenter the next morning right next to a clip of his father making that very same play. Even if his playing style is simply different, there is a good chance he will disappoint Cowboy's fans, who will be waiting for the reincarnation of his father.
Another factor has to be that the Cowboys are not known for their running attack and the best back to come out of Oklahoma State since the elder Sanders is NFL free agent Tatum Bell. Although Sanders Jr. in a Cowboys uniform would be a great news story, chances are its not the best fit for him.