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Oklahoma football: No update on receiver Jalen Saunders

by Jason Kersey Published: August 28, 2012

The wait for an NCAA ruling on Fresno State transfer wide receiver Jalen Saunders continues.

Saunders has asked the NCAA to waive its requirement that transfers sit out a season. Oklahoma assistant coach Jay Norvell has said the request related to personal, off-the-field issues. OU coach Bob Stoops said he expected an announcement any day.

"I thought I would have heard by now," Stoops said, "but it's not uncommon to get it a little bit late."

OU coaches have spoken highly of Saunders, an All-WAC performer last year as an outside receiver. Stoops said on Monday that Saunders continues to practice with the team. Kenny Stills, Trey Metoyer and Penn State transfer Justin Brown are listed as OU's starting receivers.


Few deny that UTEP is severely overmatched against No. 4 Oklahoma heading into Saturday's game in El Paso, Texas. Miners coach Mike Price even went so far as to say Monday that the Sooners "have no weaknesses."

But there is one area where UTEP, based on last year's stats, holds an advantage — punting.

OU senior Tress Way averaged 42 yards per punt last season, with a long kick of 67 yards. Miners senior Ian Campbell ranked fourth nationally at 46.1 yards, which included 18 punts of 50-plus yards and long of 71 yards.

Campbell probably would have led the nation if his 75-yarder late in a blowout loss to Tulsa hadn't been negated when he was roughed.

Also witnessing Campbell's powerful leg that day was Tulsa punter Cole Way, who happens to be Tress Way's little brother.

"My little brother texted me ... and he said, 'Man, UTEP's got a good punter,'" Tress Way said. "I said, 'Yeah, well, we'll see what happens.' I'm planning on dropping some bombs, and if he wants to come be a part of that, we'll see how it goes.

"I'm a competitive guy, so no matter which team we're playing, the ultimate goal is to win the game. The secondary goal is for me to embarrass the other punter and make it not even close."


Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jordan Phillips is already a fan favorite, and he hasn't even played in a game yet.

Lots of Sooner fans are eager to see Phillips (6-foot-6, 318 pounds) in action, but he said Monday that he isn't sure where he fits in the defensive tackle rotation at this point, and that he knows he's still got work to do to earn that playing time.

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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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