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Is it Barry Sanders Jr’s time for Stanford Cardinal?

Barry Sanders Jr

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Just over a year ago, the Stanford Cardinal pulled a huge letter of intent when they signed running back Barry Sanders Jr., the son of NFL and Detroit Lions great.

Although many believed that he would play a significant role in the Cardinal ground game during his freshman year, Sanders spent the entire 2012 campaign donning the redshirt while enjoying a developmental season. The story could be different in 2013, though, as Stanford attempts to replace the production that Stepfan Taylor is taking with him to the 2013 NFL Draft.

What Sanders brings to the table is the same explosiveness that his father played with so many years ago. He makes cuts that 99 percent of other players can’t, has unbelievable balance and makes defenders miss with ease. Put simply, Sanders is just as dangerous as daddy and won’t disappoint when he finally finds the field as a part of the Cardinal rushing attack.

With Taylor out of the picture, Sanders will have to compete with fellow runners Anthony Wilkerson, Ricky Seale, Remound Wright and Kelsey Young in order to see consistent snaps in 2013. All four received carries throughout the 2012 campaign; Wilkerson led the way with 224 yards and a touchdown on 50 carries.

Wilkerson is the leading candidate to win the Cardinal’s starting running back spot, but Sanders shouldn’t have too much trouble pushing the inconsistent senior for the top slot on the depth chart.  More than likely, Stanford will attack opponents in 2013 with a running back committee headed by Sanders, Wilkerson and Seale. All bring their own unique talents to the lineup and should see the field early and often in 2013.

Stanford has a powerful weapon in Sanders waiting to be unleashed. If they know what’s good for them, they’ll introduce him to the rest of the PAC-12 in 2013.

Gil Alcaraz IV is a Network Manager/NFL featured columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.