Barry Sanders retired as one of the top running backs in NFL history, and is ranked third in all-time rushing yards behind Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton.

Sanders played his college ball at Oklahoma State University, where he won the Heisman Trophy.

He wasn’t always a lock for stardom over the course of his athletic career, however.

Sanders didn’t start until his senior year in high school because his coach believed he lacked “contact courage.” 

Now, Sanders’ son Nick is beginning his own college sports odyssey as a walk-on at Michigan State University, making his debut on November 1 against the Grand Valley State Lakers.

Barry Sanders Reacts to Son Nick’s Debut


Barry Sanders said it was “a really cool moment” to see Nick play for the Spartans on his Twitter account.

He also retweeted footage from his son entering the game, as shown below.

Sanders wears the same jersey number (#20) as his famous father.

Sanders has four sons — Barry Jr., Nick, Noah and Nigel.

While the family is known for its football talents, Barry Sr. showed off his incredible hops in a nationally televised slam dunk contest during his playing days.

In the video below, Sanders is seen throwing down a reverse, double-clutch dunk that earned him a round of applause and smiles all the way around.

Not much is known about Nick Sanders’ talents on the hardwood, however.

He was listed as a two-star prospect at 5-foot-9, 170 pounds according to

Highlights can be seen here, although Sanders is hard to see in the videos.