Barry Sanders Jr. finally running free for Stanford

Barry Sanders Jr. is making a name for himself at Stanford
Robert Stanton/Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Barry Sanders Jr. is finally finding his way at Stanford as a running back. However, he has no interest in being compared to his father.


"I don’t want to be called Barry Sanders Jr. if you can help it," the younger Sanders said at a press conference on Tuesday, according to the San Jose Mercury News. "Everyone around here calls me Barry J."


While Barry J doesn’t want to be compared to his legendary father, NFL Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders, he is making a name for himself this season as Stanford’s second-most-productive running back.


"Barry continues to find his way," Stanford football coach David Shaw said. "I challenged Barry, at the same time I made him a promise. ‘You show us special stuff and you’ll continue to get increased carries.’ He’s shown us his special ability. Barry is a fourth-year guy, but he’s still growing as a football player. He has a lot of confidence, and I have a lot of confidence in him."


Sanders had a breakout game against Oregon State last weekend, tallying 97 yards on seven carries, including a 65-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of Stanford’s 42-24 victory.


"It was a good play," Sanders said. "It’s one of those things that happens so fast. The next thing I knew I was in the end zone, celebrating with my teammates."


Sanders has been caught in a numbers game at Stanford so far, trying to compete for touches. However, he knows the coaches know what he can do.


"It hasn’t been frustrating," Sanders said. "I know what I can do. Coach utilizes us the best he can. We’ll continue to try to make plays when we’re out there. Going into this year, all three of us knew each other’s talents. We knew we could be special as a collective group. A little piece of that showed against Oregon State. We love competing against each other, which has made all three of us better."


(h/t San Jose Mercury News)