Oklahoma football: Sooners transfer receiver Jalen Saunders sees first action

Jalen Saunders found out Wednesday his appeal to the NCAA for immediate eligibility was approved. Saturday, the junior receiver, who transferred from Fresno State, was in the Cotton Bowl playing in Oklahoma's 63-21 rout of Texas.
by Jason Kersey Published: October 13, 2012

Jalen Saunders found out Wednesday his appeal to the NCAA for immediate eligibility was approved.

Saturday, the junior receiver, who transferred from Fresno State, was in the Cotton Bowl playing in Oklahoma's 63-21 rout of Texas.

As a sophomore last season, Saunders was a first-team All-WAC selection after leading Fresno State in receiving with 50 catches, 1,065 yards and 12 touchdowns.

His waiver request was initially denied, so he had to sit out Oklahoma's first four 2012 games. Wednesday, though, he got word during practice that his appeal had been granted. Saunders declined to discuss the nature of his appeal, but ABC's television announcers said it was because his father had health concerns in the Fresno area, and they were concerned Saunders would be genetically predisposed to those issues.

Saunders was rotated in early Saturday, but didn't make his first catch until the third quarter, when he hauled in a 32-yarder. He later added a 20-yard reception.

How did you feel in the moment when you were told you were eligible?

“I was just doing scout team. People kept calling my name. I'm looking around, and I said, ‘What are you guys talking about?' They said, ‘You got cleared to play.' I was really excited ... I'm happy I played in this game today.”

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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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