A week after a “SOONER NATION” tweet gave a fairly significant hint as to his future football home, Jalen Saunders has officially landed in the Big 12 conference.
In a release, Oklahoma announced that the wide receiver has indeed transferred to the Sooners and will be a part of the football program beginning in 2012.
“We are excited to add an explosive player in Jalen to our program,” head coach Bob Stoops said in a statement addressing the addition. “He has great speed as evidenced by his yards-per-catch average and is someone who can contribute to our program in a number of ways.”
Saunders announced back in mid-April that he would be transferring from Fresno State, although it was originally thought the California native would remain on the West Coast.
As a sophomore in 2011, Saunders led the team in receptions (50), receiving yards (1,065), receiving touchdowns (12) and total touchdowns (14, two of them rushing). For that, he was named first-team All-WAC following the season.
Given the off-field situation that slammed headfirst into the OU receiving corp last week, the Sooners could certainly help use a talent like Saunders immediately. Unfortunately, that likely won’t be the case as, barring an unexpected development, the receiver will be forced to sit out the 2012 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.
Beginning in 2013, Saunders will have two years of eligibility remaining.
One of the more underrated storylines heading into Week 6 continued its tack of uncertainty Tuesday.
During the first quarter of Florida State’s win over Wake Forest this past Saturday, Dalvin Cook tweaked his hamstring and didn’t return to the contest. The sophomore running back was initially labeled as day-to-day for this weekend’s game against Miami, and that hasn’t changed as Jimbo Fisher reaffirmed that Cook’s status for the in-state rivalry game remains up in the air.
“We’ll keep waiting,” the head coach said, adding that, because of Cook’s knowledge of the offense, he could sit out of practice the entire week and still take the field against the Hurricanes.
“He knows what to do, you can keep him healthy and do that there’s no doubt about that,” Fisher said.
Cook is far and away FSU’s leading rusher, with his 142.5 yards per game good for eight in the country and his six rushing touchdowns tied for 20th. The Seminoles’ No. 2 rusher, Mario Pender, is still dealing with the aftereffects of a collapsed lung that will sideline him for at least another week.
Oklahoma State’s defense has taken what will likely prove to be a very significant and impactful blow.
On Twitter as well as Instagram late Tuesday night, Ryan Simmons announced that he “recently tore my MCL & PCL which will require surgery.” As a result, Simmons, who was injured in the Week 5 win over Kansas State, will miss the remainder of the 2015 season, even as OSU has yet to officially confirm the linebacker’s status moving forward.
Because Simmons is a senior, and this is his final season of eligibility, the end of his 2015 season would also mean the end of his collegiate career.
Simmons has started the last 31 games for the Cowboys. He was second on the team in tackles last season, and his 26 career tackles for loss makes him OSU’s active leader in that category as well.
On his official bio, it’s written that Simmons is “[o]ne of the unquestioned leaders of the team, both on and off the field.”