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Oklahoma football: Assistant Jay Boulware praises return men

by Jason Kersey Published: April 2, 2013

New Oklahoma assistant Jay Boulware has coached specials teams all around the country for several years, so he knows good kick returners when he sees them.

And Boulware thinks he's inherited a couple of special ones in Jalen Saunders and Roy Finch.

“None of these kids that I've been around at my last two stops are nearly as talented as these guys are as return men,” Boulware said. “I tell those kids all the time, there's no reason why they shouldn't be the most feared return units in the country, because they are that talented in my opinion.

“Normally special teams coordinators don't say that unless it's true, and it is true.”

In 2008, Boulware was Iowa State's special teams coordinator when Leonard Johnson set the NCAA's single-game record for kick return yardage with his 319-yard showing against Oklahoma State.

Finch returned kicks an average of 31 yards last season, including a 100-yard kick-return touchdown against Kansas. Also back on the kick return unit is Brennan Clay, who returned 20 kicks for 507 yards last year.

For most of last season, Justin Brown returned punts. But Saunders averaged 17.6 yards on his five punt returns, which included a dynamic 81-yard touchdown return against Oklahoma State.

“It's gonna be up to the other 10 members to do their jobs effectively, because if they do their jobs and get on guys, there's gonna be some excitement that happens on the Oklahoma football field,” Boulware said.


Oklahoma lost a 2014 commitment Tuesday, when four-star wide receiver Armanti Foreman informed Sooner coaches that he was opening his recruitment back up.

“It's nothing against the university,” Darreck Foreman, Armanti's father, told “We did it in fairness to the University of Oklahoma, their fans, Coach (Bob) Stoops and Coach (Jay) Norvell, who has been absolutely wonderful.”

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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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