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With New York Jets, former Oklahoma receiver Jalen Saunders might catch passes from former idol Michael Vick

by Jason Kersey Modified: May 16, 2014 at 9:25 am •  Published: May 16, 2014
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Oklahoma's Jalen Saunders (8) dives for a touchdown as Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (6) tackles him during the NCAA football BCS Sugar Bowl game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide (UA) at the Superdome in New Orleans, La., Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.  .Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Jalen Saunders (8) dives for a touchdown as Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (6) tackles him during the NCAA football BCS Sugar Bowl game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide (UA) at the Superdome in New Orleans, La., Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. .Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

NORMAN — Jalen Saunders was a quarterback between his freshman and junior seasons at Pleasant Grove High in Elk Grove, Calif.

A left-handed, dual-threat quarterback, who did Saunders model his game after?

“Michael Vick,” Saunders said back on Oct. 1, 2013, when the Sooners were preparing to face TCU.

Now, the former OU wide receiver has a chance to catch passes from Vick with the New York Jets.

The Jets used a fourth-round pick in last week’s NFL Draft to snag Saunders, who played his first two collegiate seasons at Fresno State before transferring to OU before his junior year.

Former West Virginia standout Geno Smith started all 16 games as a rookie last season for the Jets, but the team signed Vick in the offseason, and the idea of the former Pro Bowler taking the job from Smith isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

In two seasons as a Sooner, caught 123 passes for 1,558 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Those numbers increase to 203 catches, 3,085 yards and 26 scores when combined with his two seasons at Fresno State.

Saunders also was an impressive punt returner, an element of his game that surely made him attractive to NFL teams.

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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