In a purely shocking move, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy announced Monday that wide receiver Jalen McCleskey will utilize the new redshirt rule and transfer immediately.
McCleskey told Gundy he is leaving due to a lack of playing time.
A 3-star recruit out of Louisiana, McCleskey caught 29 balls as a true freshman in 2015, led the team with 73 grabs as a sophomore and snared 50 passes last season. Through four games in 2018, McCleskey ranked second on the team with 15 receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns. He caught four passes for 52 yards in a 41-17 loss to No. 25 Texas Tech on Saturday.
After years of playing third fiddle to James Washington and Marcell Ateman, McCleskey, presumably figured to be the offense’s top option in his senior year, but fellow senior Taylor Cornelius has favored sophomore Tylan Wallace, turning to him for a team-high 26 completions.
McCleskey’s departure is part of a new phenomenon of players utilizing the new redshirt rule to their advantage. By leaving when he is, McCleskey will not have this season count against his eligibility, thus allowing him to play elsewhere in 2019.
He leaves school as one of the 10 most productive receivers in Oklahoma State history, hauling in 167 passes for 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns.