Barry Sanders has had a consistent top four in his recruiting process pretty much since day one of the recruiting process, giving him plenty of time for evaluating his top selections. He has also been adamant about making his choice during the broadcast of the All-American Bowl.
On Saturday, that vision came to fruition and the waiting was over as he slid on a Stanford Cardinal cap as the country watched.
“It had a lot to do with the people and they have a great coaching staff,” said Sanders who built a great relationship with his recruiting coach Mike Sanford in Palo Alto. “Coach (David Shaw) has done a great job taking over for Coach Harbaugh.
It was a tough decision for the Oklahoman to select Stanford over the home-state Cowboys, where his father had a legendary career, but at the end of the day he felt like it was the best fit academically and athletically. He also likes the fact that the Cardinal dedicate themselves to the run game.
“The bowl game showed that they run the ball. I think that the running back had about 30 carries and they do it about as good as anybody. You know, they recruit some really good guys up front. Even though they have the number one quarterback (Andrew Luck) they have stayed loyal to the run game.”
“It (Fiesta Bowl) was crazy I had never been out in that position before and it was fun to watch both teams go back and forth. I just hated to see it end the way it did. I was ready to see a couple of overtimes.”
The Scout.com Top 100 member also loves the feeling or the overall atmosphere in California.
“I just loved the feel, They are laid back,” The 5-foot-10, 190 pounder said. “They let you have your privacy with your school. Northern Cal is not a bad place to hang out and it is just a good place.”
It was still hard for him to select a school other than Oklahoma State, the school he grew up watching and he had nothing but glowing things to say about the school and all of those he has grown close to in Stillwater.
“I got a lot of friends up there in Stillwater and the coaches up there they understand,” Sanders said with a heavy heart. “With Coach (Mike) Gundy calling my father he understands my position better than anybody. If there is any time to be a Cowboy it is now. They played in their first BCS Bowl, appearance and victory, and it was exciting to see them pull it out.”