But will he be able to play in the real games this season?
That remains to be seen. Saunders, who transferred in from Fresno State during the offseason, and OU coaches are still waiting for the NCAA’s ruling on his waiver request, which would allow him to play immediately rather than sit out the usual one season required for transfers between FBS schools.
“It’s only a problem if you make it one,” said co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell. “We’ve got a lot of good players; obviously we’d love to have Jalen. But we have to go on if he has to sit this year. We know he’ll be able to play next year, and we’ll be looking forward to that.”
Norvell wouldn’t go into detail about Saunders’ specific reasons for a waiver request, but did say his reasons for transferring were more about personal, off-the-field issues.
Saunders was a first-team All-WAC selection last year as a sophomore, when he hauled in 50 catches for 1,065 yards and 12 touchdowns. Longtime coach Pat Hill was fired after a disappointing 4-9 season in 2011.