STILLWATER, OK - DECEMBER 03: Head coach Bob Stoops during play against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Deep Threat Jalen Saunders Won't Join Oklahoma For 2012 After All

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Oklahoma WR Saunders ruled eligible vs. Texas

Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jalen Saunders has been cleared to play on Saturday against the Texas Longhorns, according to Guerin Emig of The Tulsa World.

Saunders had previously been ruled ineligible to play this year after transferring to Oklahoma from Fresno State. He appealed the decision just before the start of the season, but the request was rejected on Sep. 3. The Sooners had planned on redshirting him.

Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops told Emig that he is "hopeful" about Saunders being a contributor in Saturday's game. The Sooners haven't prepared for the game with Saunders as a possible option, as Stoops did not receive the news until late on Wednesday afternoon.

Saunders, a junior from Elk Grove, Calif., caught 50 passes for 1,065 yards in 2011 with Fresno State, racking up 12 touchdown receptions and two more scores on the ground. As a freshman in 2010, Saunders accumulated 462 yards and three touchdowns through the air.


Oklahoma's Jalen Saunders To Redshirt After NCAA Appeal Denied

Fresno State transfer Jalen Saunders will redshirt for the Oklahoma Sooners in 2012 after he was denied an appeal to bypass the NCAA's rule that transfers within FBS must sit out a year. The WR was hoping to receive a waiver, but his request was rejected on Monday.

The former Bulldog was one of the top deep threats in college football in 2011, tallying 1,156 yards from scrimmage, 14 touchdowns, and averaging 21.3 yards per catch. Saunders came to Oklahoma for a chance to play on the outside, as he was relegated to the slot at Fresno State. He was looking to bolster a depleted Sooner receiving corps immediately, but now will have to wait until 2013 to make an impact.

For more on the Sooners head to Crimson and Cream Machine. For all things NCAA Football, stick with SB Nation's College Football hub.

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Jalen Saunders Could Mend Major Problem For Oklahoma

It's unclear exactly why Fresno State transfer Jalen Saunders might be able to play in 2012 for Oklahoma instead of sitting out a year, but Bob Stoops has every reason to hope with all his might that the speedy deep threat can line up for the Sooners immediately.

With multiple receivers among the several who lost scholarships after that bout of suspensions earlier in the summer, only Kenny Stills and freshman Trey Metoyer inspire any serious confidence ... otherwise, it's pretty much just freshmen who aren't Trey Metoyer. Still, they're all highly talented, but Metoyer has a little bit of an age advantage and had a monstrous spring.

Saunders, meanwhile, posted 1,156 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore, including a ridiculous 21.3 yards-per-catch average. That's second in the country to only Stephen Hill. The only catch: He doesn't want to play in the slot, despite being small. That's why he's leaving Fresno, in fact. OU definitely can't be choosy there.

For more on OU football, visit Oklahoma blog Crimson And Cream Machine.

While we’re here, let’s watch some college football videos from SB Nation’s new YouTube channel together:

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