National Signing Day 2012: 12 Sons of Former NFL Stars to Sign Today

Stephen UrbaniakCorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 02:  Dan Herron #1 of Ohio State Buckeyes runs upfield at the Gator Bowl against the Florida Gators at EverBank Field on January 2, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

National signing day has been a series of lightning strikes across the country.  Teams' fortunes have been drastically changed with just a single player or group of players. 

Teams from across the country such as Arkansas, Alabama, Florida State and others have all signed players capable of turning their fortunes around from a season ago.  Those teams also have paid a special degree of attention to the offspring of former NFL stars.

Here is a list of 12 sons of NFL stars who will be signing national letters of intent at some point today:

1. Barry Sanders Jr. (Barry Sanders)—The son of the Hall of Fame Detroit Lions tailback will be signing with Stanford.

2. Andrus Peat (Todd Peat)—The son of the former Cardinals and Raiders great is expected to sign at some point today. At last check, he was still undecided.

3. Mario Edwards Jr. (Mario Edwards Sr.)—The son of the former Cowboys defensive back has signed with Florida State and will look to be a force on the Seminoles defense.

4. Alex Carter (Tom Carter)—The son of former Redskins, Bears and Bengals defensive back Tom Carter will be signing with Stanford. 

The younger Carter will be playing the same position that his father did, and he will look to make an impact on a Stanford team that is coming off of a Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma State.

5. Hardy Nickerson Jr. (Hardy Nickerson Sr.)—The son of the great Hardy Nickerson played fullback as well as linebacker for Bishop O'Dowd High School, and he will follow in his dad's footsteps by playing linebacker for the California Bears. 

His dad was a 16-year veteran in the NFL, and he was a part of the NFL's 1990s All-Decade Team.

6. Alston Smith (Bruce Smith)—The son of the NFL's all-time sack leader has signed with Virginia Tech and will look to be the force that his dad was in Blacksburg.  Man, I bet he's feeling the pressure to follow in his dad's footsteps.

7. Deion Sanders Jr. (Deion "Prime Time" Sanders)—The son of the most electrifying cornerback and punt returner, Deion Sanders Jr. has gotten a serious offer from Houston, but at last tally, he hadn't signed anywhere.  Talk about big shoes to fill.

8. Zach Banner (Lincoln Kennedy)—The son of the great offensive tackle has signed with USC.  His dad was a solid offensive tackle for 10 years with the Atlanta Falcons and the Oakland Raiders. 

Zach should be a solid pickup for the resurgent Trojans, who now have their NCAA sanctions in the rearview mirror.

9. Darius Hamilton (Keith Hamilton)—The son of NFL star Keith Hamilton has signed with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights after initially committing to Miami. 

10. Ray Buchanan Jr. (Ray Buchanan)—Son of the former cornerback/safety Ray Buchanan, he is signing with Arkansas to play the same position as his father.

11. Keith Byars II (Keith Alan Byars)—The son of the former Eagles, Dolphins, Patriots and Jets running back has had three offers from Florida International, Louisville and Memphis, and at last tally he was still deciding. 

His dad scored 54 touchdowns over the span of his 12-year career.

12. Kyle Kalis (Todd Kalis)—The son of the former Bengals, Steelers and Vikings lineman signed with the Michigan Wolverines.  He will be a centerpiece on the offensive line at 6'0" and 300 pounds.

All 12 of these guys will give their dads something to smile about over the course of their college careers if they make the same impact that their fathers made on the NFL.