Oklahoma Sooners: Fresno State Bulldogs

Four-star OT Cochran delaying decision 

January, 1, 2013
The plan was for four-star offensive tackle Aaron Cochran (Atwater, Calif./Buhach) to make his decision at the Semper Fidelis All-American game.

But with the game looming later this week, Cochran is in no position to make that call. Instead of trying to force a decision, Cochran is opting to delay the decision.

The Sooners added one of the top sophomore receivers in the country over the weekend.

Jalen Saunders, who led Fresno State in receiving while earning All-Western Athletic Conference honors last season, announced he’s transferring to Oklahoma. The 5-foot-9, 160-pound Saunders had 50 catches for 1,065 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns in 2011, and had another 30 catches and three touchdowns as a freshman in 2010. Saunders also made an impact in the return game during his time with the Bulldogs, returning 32 kickoffs for 743 yards. He’ll have to sit out this year, but will be eligible for the 2013 season.

SoonerNation spoke with the Fresno Bee’s Robert Kuwada, who covered Saunders at Fresno State, and the Sacramento Bee’s Joe Davidson, who has followed Saunders’ career all the way back to high school, about the latest addition to the OU wide receiving corps:

What is Saunders' biggest strength?

[+] EnlargeJalen Saunders
Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US PresswireReceiver Jalen Saunders had 12 receiving touchdowns for Fresno State in 2011.
Kuwada: Speed. In the league he played in, people couldn't cover him 10 yards past the line of scrimmage.
Davidson: Jalen has terrific speed, NFL-type speed. He has excellent hands, works hard and just blows by people on the outside.

Where can he improve?

Kuwada: Catching the ball, he can be a little more consistent. He needs to expand, and be more than a deep guy. Just some all-around consistency. Do a little more than just be a guy on the outside that can fly down the field.
Davidson: Like any player, Saunders needs to get stronger, fall in love with the weight room, and continue to be a better blocker.

Is he capable of being an impact returner?

Kuwada: Definitely. He can return kicks and punts. He's got that kind of speed. He catches the ball, and can do both, without a problem. They didn't use him last year, they had some other guy, didn't want to overuse him. He would have been an improvement over what they were doing if they had used him in that role.
Davidson: Saunders can absolutely impact a game on returns. Speed works wonders in the open field.

(Read full post)


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