Tuesday, July 20, 2010


OKLAHOMA CITY — Every college football coach in the country is looking for a tailback with great size, speed, power and elusiveness. In other words, they're all searching for another Barry Sanders.

Well, the search is over. There actually is another Barry Sanders coming through the prep ranks and his name is ... Barry Sanders Jr.

(right, Sanders Jr.)

The Heritage Hall (Okla) class of 2012 product is a carbon copy of his hall of fame father, possessing great size (5-11, 195), speed, power, elusiveness, as well as the vision of a 10-year NFL veteran.

As a freshman, Sanders Jr. helped lead his team to a state championship, and last season — his sophomore campaign — the shifty runner compiled 1,700 yards on the ground with 22 touchdowns.

Of course, college coaches and scouts from all across the country are already showing great interest in the Oklahoma rising star, and at this rate he could become the most sought after runner in the class of 2012 before it's all said and done.

Sanders took time to talk with The Buckeye Times on Monday night for this edition of "The Whole Nine" — nine questions that give Buckeye fans a little more insight into the recruit, both on and off the field.

The Buckeye Times: I know it's early in the recruiting process but what kind of interest do you have in Ohio State, if any?
Barry Sanders Jr.: I'm interested in any team that's interested in me at this point. (Ohio State) sent me a questionnaire so I know somebody in the program is thinking about me. I look forward to talking to some coaches when the time comes.

TBT: What is it about Ohio State that attracts you?
Sanders: Ohio State is a program with a lot of tradition and that's something that is high on my interest level when I'm thinking about schools. They seem to be getting better year after year, and I hope to see them continue to do so.

TBT: Is there any college team that you are a fan of?
Sanders: The only team I can call myself a real fan of is Oklahoma State (his father's alma mater), for obvious reasons (laughing). But Barry "the fan" won't be making the decision where I'm going to school.

TBT: Are there any players you try to emulate?
Sanders: I don't try to pattern my game around anybody. I think if I can stay healthy and keep getting better, whatever style I have will make me successful.

TBT: What does Barry Sanders Jr. bring to a football team?
Sanders: I think I provide a knowledge for the game when I'm out there on the field. Yes, athleticism is great to have but the guys that know the game and can help his teammates get better when the coaches aren't there to help is critical to the success of a team.

TBT: What are some goals that you've set for yourself?
Sanders: Well I'm always trying to beat myself, so last year I rushed for 1,700 yards with 30 total touchdowns — 22 of those rushing and seven interceptions. This year, I hope to surpass those numbers.

TBT: Which schools — who have offered you a scholarship — has you the most excited at this moment?
Sanders: I have seven offers at this point and all seven are good programs. But the three that stand out are Oklahoma State, Notre Dame and Tennessee.

TBT: What are your interests off the field?
Sanders: I love playing video games and just hanging with friends like any other kid. During football season there are few times to get rest so I cherish the few moments that I get.

TBT: What are your goals in case football doesn't work out?
Sanders: After football is over I would like to get into something that has to do with numbers. Growing up I said I wanted to be a doctor, but I think me owning my own something in the business life would be more amusing.

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