When you’re ranked as one of the top five running backs in the nation and you hold scholarship offers from most of college football’s top programs, your college commitment will be watched with interest.

But when your name is Barry Sanders, Jr. and your dad is arguably the greatest running back in history, the stakes are even higher. So it turned some heads on Saturday when Barry Sanders, Jr. announced his decision to attend Stanford instead of dad’s alma mater, Oklahoma State.

Sanders rushed for 1,343 yards and scored 27 touchdowns this season for Heritage Hall High School in Oklahoma City. In addition to Stanford, the 5-11, 195 pound senior held offers from at least 14 other schools. His four finalists included Alabama, Florida State, Oklahoma State and Stanford. In his final decision, he picked the Cardinal over Oklahoma State.

Sanders admitted it was tough to turn down the Cowboys, saying he “bled orange for a long time” and had long dreamed of following in his father’s footsteps. Sanders’ father won the 1988 Heisman Trophy while playing for Oklahoma State. But Stanford’s high academic standards and the chance for the younger Sanders to blaze his own path proved too good for the younger Sanders to pass up.

Sanders announced his decision during the Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio this weekend. In the game, Sanders had just three carries but scored on a 10-yard touchdown run. His West squad won the All-American Game 24-12.

Like his famously elusive father, Sanders has plenty of quickness to go along with the speed (4.31 in the 40-yard dash) and power that make him a top all-around running back prospect.

[The Oklahoman]