STILLWATER — The Cowboys’ Heisman Trophy winner is immortalized at last.
Oklahoma State unveiled Barry Sanders’ statue at the northwest corner of Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday evening ahead of Sanders’ induction into the ring of honor.
“It’s so amazing to be thought of in this way,” Sanders said. “Football is the greatest team game out there. I was able to shine thanks to the efforts of so many others. To really be looked at and looked up to and thought of in this way is one of the most amazing things for me.”
Ever bashful to all the praise he has earned, Sanders spent most of his time in front of the microphone thanking others. He thanked Mike Holder, Chad Weiberg, Kayse Shrum, Larry Reece, Burns Hargis, his high school coach Dale Burkholder, Pat Jones, Boone Pickens, his family and the War Pigs, his offensive line.
Reece announced the War Pigs presence toward the beginning of the ceremony, and Sanders stood up from his seat on the stage to clap for them.
“This is a group of, pretty much, fifth-year senior offensive linemen,” Sanders said. “They blocked for Thurman (Thomas). They blocked for me. They loved to just get off the line and hit people. They watched my back every second of the day. I really, really appreciate those guys.”
Mike Gundy was less bashful, at one point adding “right now, he’s wanting me to stop talking. I can tell you that now.”
“Barry is by far the best college running back to ever play,” Gundy said. “That is not even a question. … Truth be known, and I’ve said this, and I do it very respectfully because I can remember watching him on TV when he was playing in the NFL, and he accomplished so much in the NFL and there just wasn’t a lot of blocking. I mean, I’m just gonna call it like it was. Nothing against Coach (Wayne) Fontes, nothing against the Lions or any of those guys. I’m just calling it like it is, which that usually gets me in trouble, but the point being is this: he did it in the NFL without any blocking at all. It’s pretty amazing what he was able to accomplish.”
Here are photos PFB’s Devin Wilber snapped at the event: