After redshirting as a freshman, Sanders ran for 672 yards and five touchdowns over the past three seasons, including 315 yards and four scores this year.
He was third on the depth chart this season and was not expected to have an increased role next season behind Heisman Trophy runner-up Christian McCaffrey. Sanders is expected to consider Oklahoma State, where his father, Barry Sanders, played from 1986 to 1988, but the release allows him to transfer to any school outside the Pac-12, according to the Oklahoman.
Sanders said transferring to Oklahoma State is "definitely an option."
"I have not been in contact with those guys yet, but I would like to see what they have to offer," he told the paper. "Hopefully, we can find some common ground."
Sanders, who is from Oklahoma City, was the No. 9 running back in the class of 2012. He expected to graduate in June.