NCAA rules OU wide receiver Jalen Saunders immediately eligible
BY From Staff Reports
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
10/10/12 at 6:32 PM
NORMAN — The Oklahoma coaching staff received an unexpected surprise on Wednesday afternoon.
OU wide receiver Jalen Saunders, a transfer from Fresno State, has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season.
The junior had filed an appeal to the NCAA to waive the one-year period to sit out as a transfer. Saunders will eligible to play in Saturday’s 11 a.m. game against Texas.
“We found out mid-practice and switched him over from scout team to the 1s and 2s,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “He’s catching up right now. I anticipate him helping.
“We can’t determine today what he’ll be able to do. But he’s kept himself up with everything we’re doing. He’s a really good player. I’m hopeful that he will be able to help and play.”
Saunders led Fresno State in receiving last season with 50 catches, 1,065 yards and 12 touchdowns to earn all-WAC honors. He chose to leave Fresno State after coach Pat Hill was terminated.
Saunders averaged 21.4 yards per reception for the Bulldogs in 2011.
“He’s quick, got a great sense of space and the ability to get open,” Stoops said.
Saunders (5-9, 160) is expected to be a slot receiver and has the ability to return punts. The slot position has been led by veteran Kenny Stills and has witnessed the emergence by true freshman Sterling Shepard.