Jalen Saunders cleared to play

Updated: October 11, 2012, 11:15 AM ET
By Brandon Chatmon | SoonerNation

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma's offense got a major boost Wednesday when coach Bob Stoops announced that Fresno State transfer Jalen Saunders has been cleared to play for the Sooners.

Saunders, a junior wide receiver, had been ruled ineligible to play due to NCAA transfer rules but was cleared during Oklahoma's evening practice and is expected to play Saturday when the 13th-ranked Sooners face No. 15 Texas in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

"We found that out midpractice and switched him over from scout team to the 1s and 2s," Stoops said. "I anticipate him helping (us this season)."

Saunders left Fresno State after Tim Deruyter replaced Pat Hill as coach following his sophomore season with the Bulldogs. Saunders was a first-team All-WAC performer as a sophomore at Fresno State. He had 50 receptions for 1,065 yards and 12 touchdowns, and his 21.4 yards per catch average was second nationally in 2011.

"You're getting a guy who has played a lot of ball and played it well," Stoops said.

Saunders was one of the most impressive Sooners during fall camp, as teammates continually praised his quickness and playmaking ability.

Having Saunders eligible could be a huge development for a Sooners offense that has yet to pass for more than 313 yards in a game this season after averaging 349.4 in 2011.

"He's quick, he has a great sense of space in there, he has great hands and a great ability to get open," Stoops said. "He's a really good player, so I am hopeful he will be able to help and play."

Brandon Chatmon | email

Oklahoma/Big 12 reporter