Stanford Cardinal’s luck hasn’t run out just yet

Barry Sanders JrSome may want to consider the Stanford Cardinal’s unlucky now that Andrew Luck has gone on to Indianapolis, but their luck hasn’t run out just yet. The big news for the Cardinal moving forward is the commitment of Barry Sanders Jr. for the 2012 season.  They may have lost the battle to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl, but Stanford has won the war, or at least evened the score by recruiting Barry Sanders Jr. away from his father’s Cowboy Alma-mater.  Barry Sanders Sr. was a 1988 Heisman trophy winner at Oklahoma State, but even that glory could not sway the younger Sanders.  The junior Sanders expressed excitement after donning the black hat with the Cardinal Stanford “S” on it at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game, saying that he was looking forward to getting a chance to play with what he thinks are some of the greatest student-athletes in the world.  He believes what some Stanford fans may be questioning, especially with the loss of Luck: that Stanford has been improving as a program and has a bright future ahead of them.

Sanders joins the Cardinal’s 17th-ranked recruiting class that includes two top-40 offensive line commitments and Sanders’ commitment could be enough to move the upcoming Stanford recruiting class into the top 15. 
This season, Stanford rushed for 2,738 yards as a team, including 1,363 yards and 10 touchdowns from junior Stepfan Taylor.  Sanders will join Taylor, junior Tyler Gaffney, sophomore Anthony Wilkerson in the Cardinal’s backfield, along with 2011 four-star running backs Kelsey Young and Remound Wright.

Don’t let Sanders 5”9, 190 pound frame fool you, he is quick and elusive on the field and displays great balance and the ability to take big hits and stay on his feet.  Stanford relies on the run; even more so now with Luck gone and Sanders may just be the next marquee player for the Cards.  Sanders chose Stanford in order to make his own name in the game and step out from behind his dad’s hulking shadow.  Also, receiving an education from one of the top schools in the nation doesn’t hurt either.  So even though the Fiesta Bowl may have left a sour taste in the mouths of Stanford fans and players alike, there is a bright future ahead for the Cardinal and hopefully some good luck as well.  The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work and Stanford’s” blue-collar” work ethic motto remains in tact.

Emily Van Buskirk is a writer for The Sports Blitz