Barry J. Sanders has requested and been granted a graduate transfer release, a story first reported by Jacob Unruh of NewsOK and confirmed by the Stanford athletic department.
Sanders says in the interview that he has been granted the opportunity to transfer anywhere outside of the Pac-12, and that he is seriously considering Oklahoma State - his father's alma mater - for his next step.
Sanders will graduate in June, and it had been rumored that he would be a graduate transfer candidate for a long time. In the NewsOK article, Sanders said he wanted to explore options for his future - likely at a place is he guaranteed to get more playing time.
"It was great (at Stanford). For the time being it was exactly what I wanted to do. I actually always wanted to come to school out here. My mom's from Southern California, so we always vacationed out here. When I visited the campus, I knew this was the place for me."
"Stanford is the best team in the conference," he said. "It wouldn't make sense to go within the conference. I'm really unsure at this point, so we'll just take it day by day."
Sanders was a 4-star recruit out of Heritage Hall High in Oklahoma City, but he never gained a ton of playing time during his years in Cardinal red. Sanders rushed for 315 yards and 4 touchdowns on 51 carries in 2015 after he gained 315 yards on 51 carries in 2014. Sanders' opportunities to carry the football were largely usurped by Christian McCaffrey and Remound Wright, who forged a powerful combo of speed and short-yardage success.
Stanford will enter the 2016 season with McCaffrey, Bryce Love and Cameron Scarlett as its returning running backs, with recruits Trevor Speights and Brandon Stephens also joining the fold.