Former Stanford running back and Oklahoma City native Barry J. Sanders has chosen to use his last year of eligibility at Oklahoma State. Sanders, who backed up Heisman finalist Christian McCaffrey, is eligible to play immediately. That works out perfectly for the Cowboys, who are in desperate need of a feature back next season. Sanders averaged over six yards per carry this year and over five yards per carry the previous year, but he hasn’t had the chance to be the premiere back. That's where Oklahoma State comes in.
The Cowboys' leading rusher for the season was Chris Carson, who had 517 yards and four touchdowns. Sanders rushed for 315 yards on only 51 attempts and reached the end zone just as many times in 2015. On the road against Oregon State, Sanders had his best game of the year, rushing for 97 yards and two touchdowns and averaging 13.7 yards per carry. Of course, that was with one of the best offensive lines in the country. It's been tossed around that only the second coming of Barry Sanders could run behind this line. Well, here he is. Literally.
Needless to say, Sanders is the son of the greatest player to put on an Oklahoma State uniform, Barry Sanders. In his 1988 Heisman season, Sanders rushed for 2,628 yards and 37 touchdowns, both of which are still NCAA records. Sanders played 10 seasons with the Detroit Lions where he rushed for over 1,000 yards in every year. Sanders was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 2004.
Barry J. Sanders will be a great asset to the Cowboys offense, but it’s important not to go crazy with the comparisons. In all fairness, it’s probably one of the major reasons he didn’t come to Oklahoma State to begin with. Nobody should expect a 2,600 yard season from him. What the Cowboys need is a leader, (and an offensive line) and if he can be the go to back for 2016, he’ll always have a special place in the heart of OSU fans.