Barry Sanders Jr. is one of the most mature high school juniors you will ever meet.
Speaking with a low, joy-filled tone and a constant smile on his face, Sanders has everything that a college football coach would want in a person. Not to mention, he's a pretty good football player as well.
Oh yeah, and then there's that name thing.
On top of his great personality, top-notch leadership, and elite football skills, he just so happens to be the son of that Barry Sanders—the 1988 Heisman Trophy winner.
In his latest high school game for Heritage Hall in Oklahoma City, Sanders went on to rush for 313 yards, on which five of his 13 runs went for touchdowns and good for 24 yards per carry. But at the end of the day, even after the praise and the attention, Sanders will say the best part of the day was taking home yet another victory.
The younger running back doesn't exactly fit the mold of his father, Standing at 5''11" and 190 pounds at just his third year in high school, compared to the 5''8", 200-pound frame the older Sanders rode to a Hall of Fame career. But besides the body, and the number (Barry Jr. wears No. 26), there isn't much different about the two.
Of course, it's way too early to declare Sanders Jr. the next big thing, or even to compare him to his father. However, it isn't too early to start the hype for someone who deserves it.
His running-style features a blend of 4.4-40 speed, strength, and athleticism that have coaches' drooling just from one look at his highlight tape.
While attending the Top Gun camp this summer in Williamsburg, VA, I had the opportunity to watch him go up against older backs, including 5-stars Malcolm Brown and Aaron Green. Although the two older running backs had another year under their belt and many more offers to their names, Sanders Jr. was without a doubt the best back on the field that week.
It may seem unrealistic at such a young age, but he really is that good.
Now in his junior year, the colleges have come calling and the coaches have started pleading for the younger Sanders to be the next star at their respective schools. With offers from top-notch programs all over the country, he has began the process of focusing on a select few for the time being.
As of now, he has zoned in on four—Alabama, UCLA, Florida State, and Oklahoma State (his father's alma mater). He may be looking at these specific programs at the current moment, but don't count anyone out just yet as his recruitment has just begun and the offers will soon come in piles if they haven't already.
But for now, Sanders Jr. will focus on leading his team to a state championship for the next two years. The comparisons, highlights, and national media attention will have to be put on a hold for another few years until he shows up on campus of whichever school he feels is right.
After all, he is just a kid who loves football, not just the kid of the greatest running back of all time.