Barry J. Sanders commits to Stanford

Updated: January 7, 2012, 5:24 PM ET
By Damon Sayles | ESPN Recruiting Nation

SAN ANTONIO -- Arguably the worst-kept secret at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Barry J. Sanders' decision on his future became official Saturday: He's headed to Stanford.

[+] EnlargeBarry J. Sanders
John Albright / Icon SMIBarry Sanders said Saturday at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl that he will attend Stanford.

Sanders (Oklahoma City/Heritage Hall) announced to the 39,011 at the Alamodome that he has committed to Stanford, choosing the Cardinal over Florida State and Alabama.

He also chose Stanford over Oklahoma State, the alma mater of his Pro Football Hall of Fame father with the same first name who was in attendance.

"I get the chance to play with the greatest student-athletes in the world," Sanders said, wearing a Cardinal red-and-white cap.

Sanders' much-anticipated announcement was somewhat watered down when reports out of Oklahoma Thursday had Sanders confirming to a source that he was choosing Stanford.

He saw people congratulating him on his Facebook page, but he didn't respond to the posts.

For a day and a half, the trademark smile that usually is on the face of the ESPNU 150 running back was replaced by a look of frustration.

"Nothing changed because of [Thursday]," Sanders said after hearing about the reports. "I talked to a couple of friends. I still feel good. Every day I feel more comfortable with my decision.

"Things got out of hand quickly. It was wild. I haven't said anything to anybody about committing. I appreciate the support [on Facebook], but I didn't say anything."

Sanders, ranked No. 78 among all national prospects, is considered the third-ranked player in Oklahoma and the sixth-ranked running back nationally.

At 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, Sanders brings speed, power and elusiveness to the Cardinal.

Sanders added that he has yet to find out his academic status at Stanford.

"I honestly don't know if I have qualified for Stanford," he said. "I'm waiting to get accepted. I've done all I can do. Now I'm just waiting to see if what I've done is enough."

ESPN SoonerNation's Bob Przyzbylo contributed to this report.

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