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NCAA denies former OU running back Brandon Williams’ waiver request

by Jason Kersey Published: August 23, 2012
Former OU running back Brandon Williams transferred to Texas A&M and had his waiver application denied by the NCAA, meaning he won't be eligible to play until 2013. PHOTO BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVE
Former OU running back Brandon Williams transferred to Texas A&M and had his waiver application denied by the NCAA, meaning he won't be eligible to play until 2013. PHOTO BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVE
NORMAN — Former Oklahoma running back Brandon Williams, who transferred to Texas A&M after just one season in Norman, will redshirt for his sophomore year after being denied a waiver by the NCAA to play in 2012.

Williams’ original waiver request was denied Aug. 2, but the school appealed that decision. The NCAA’s subcommittee on legislative relief denied the appeal Wednesday.

“We appreciate the NCAA’s consideration of our appeal in the case of Brandon Williams,” Texas A&M coach and former Sooner assistant Kevin Sumlin said in a release. “We knew this was a possibility and Brandon will continue to work out with our team and help our team get better. We look forward to him playing in maroon and white in 2013.”

Williams saw action in eight games as a true freshman at Oklahoma, rushing for 219 yards and averaging nearly 5 yards a carry.

He told AggieYell.com in January that he’d decided to transfer to be closer to his 2-year old daughter.

Because Williams did not redshirt at OU, he will have three years of eligibility at Texas A&M beginning in 2013.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma is still waiting on the status of waiver applications for junior receiver Jalen Saunders and sophomore defensive bacak Cortez Johnson, who transferred in from Fresno State and Arizona, respectively.

Saunders led Fresno State in receiving last season as a sophomore with 50 catches, 1,065 yards and 12 touchdowns while earning All-WAC honors. He chose to leave Fresno after coach Pat Hill was fired and replaced by Tim DeRuyter.

Both Saunders and his father, Walter, have been open in media interviews about his decision being largely based on DeRuyter’s new no-huddle, spread system and the slot receiver role the 5-foot-9, 160 pounder was being asked to play in it.

During fall camp and in scrimmages, Jalen Saunders impressed his coaches and teammates with his big-play ability. If he is declared eligible for this season, it likely means a redshirt season for first-year freshman Durron Neal.

Johnson recorded 16 tackles last year as a true freshman under then-Wildcats coach and now-Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.

After Stoops was fired midseason, Tim Kish took over in the interim. Kish is now OU’s linebackers coach.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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