Son of Detroit Lions Legend Barry Sanders Considers Michigan State a Top Choice

The Michigan State Spartans offered Birmingham Groves running back Noah Sanders, son of all-time great Detroit Lion Barry Sanders. In this Spartan Nation exclusive, Sanders discusses his Green and White recruitment and why the Spartans are his top offer.
Birmingham Groves' Noah Sanders rushes during an Oakland Activities Association-White football game Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023.
Birmingham Groves' Noah Sanders rushes during an Oakland Activities Association-White football game Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. / Brandon Folsom/Hometownlife.com / USA

The Michigan State Spartans offered three-star Groves High School running back Noah Sanders on Tuesday. The offer was to gray-shirt. Sanders is the 58th-ranked player in Michigan's 2025 class. Sanders is the son of Hall-of-Fame Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders.

I spoke with Noah after word broke about his offer. Spartan running backs coach Keith Bhonapha reached out to Noah after his junior season, and that is when the two started connecting.

"I've been up to Michigan State numerous times, also there for my brother [Nick], who is on the basketball team," Noah told me. "Whenever I'm up there for football, I can always see basketball, and whenever I'm up there for basketball, I try to see the coaches for football. But [Bhonapha] kinda just watched me develop through my track, and stuff like that, and that's kind of the connection we've been having and that's where he sees me at with the offer, and just heading forward."

Noah said he was "very" interested in the Spartans. They are at the top of his list, and he said he could see himself in East Lansing.

Noah told me he is looking for a program that can build him better and improve his game as an all-around player. He is looking for development both on and off the field, and he is looking for a program that "stresses" relationships with others.

"Good academics for sure, my parents have stressed that," Noah said. "Football, there's a life outside of football, so I gotta be able to build my future at a school that can help me. I want a program, especially football-wise, coaches that I can trust doing the best thing for my team and not for themselves."

Noah's recruitment process started off slow, but now it has received attention, including offers from Mid-American Conference schools and interest from Power 4 programs. He cites a breakout game last year against Southfield as the starting point, when he rushed for 142 yards on 18 carries for three touchdowns. Toledo was his first offer.

Noah said he will be making his decision at some point during his senior season. He said mid-to-late season would likely be the time of the decision.

Michael France is Sports Illustrated's Michigan State recruiting beat writer, covering all things Big Ten recruiting for Spartan Nation. Be sure to follow him on Twitter/X@michaelfrancesi for exclusive Spartans recruiting coverage.

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Michael France

MICHAEL FRANCE