News that the Oklahoma Sooners have been waiting to hear for a while: The NCAA has finally cleared transfer Jalen Saunders. Saunders is eligible to play immediately and will most likely be in the wide receiver rotation Saturday against the Texas Longhorns.
During the long delay from the NCAA, it looked like Saunders would have to redshirt as a first year transfer. Instead, he will have two years of eligibility left. The Sooners are now sitting with 5 receivers on the roster that are in their first year in a Sooner uniform, that have caught at least one ball this year.
Saunders is a Fresno State Bulldogs transfer who was unhappy with coaching changes and the new offensive scheme. His dad commented to the press back in April about the transfer:
Fresno State is where Jalen wanted to be since high school, but there was a change of philosophy and a change of coaching staff that he no longer felt comfortable being there anymore. “He’s been frustrated. Jalen does not fit in their new style of ball. He felt like that even if he stuck with it, he wouldn’t progress.”
At Fresno State, Saunders had 2,527 all-purpose yards, was a first-team All-WAC and had a league high of 12 touchdowns in his first 50 receptions. He finished second in the country in yards per catch and catches covering 40 yards.
The Sooners have been looking for that breakout performance at the wide receiver position for the 2012 season. Kenny Stills will still be the main Landry Jones target. Having the speed, versatility and great sense of space that Saunders has, don’t be surprised when he becomes one of the favorite targets.