Offensive weekly Q&A: WR Jalen Saunders

NORMAN, Okla. — Wide receiver Jalen Saunders played in his first game and caught his first pass as a Sooner the other day against Texas and talks about that, what it means to be on the field this year and more with Sooners Illustrated.

Q. Did it kinda cross your mind your first game in an OU uniform would be in the Cotton Bowl?

A. You know, I actually didn't think about it, but when everything just came through saying I was going to be able to play this year, I just looked at it as a great opportunity from God.

Q. What did it mean to you to get your first action at OU here against Texas?

A. It meant a lot. You know, I was real happy to be on the field again. It's been a year since I've touched the field. I haven't even caught a pass in the game, so I was real happy.

Q. Can you talk about getting throw into the mix in the middle of the season? You mentioned Texas. Now you guys are right into it. You got Kansas and then in two weeks Notre Dame. I mean, you're right in the middle of things here. So, just talk about first of all the focus this week in practice on making sure you focus on Kansas and not looking ahead to the big game in two weeks.

A. You know, we're just gonna take one week at a time and try to get the Big 12 Championship this year still. And like I said, we're just gonna take one week at a time. You know, Kansas is up this week. Homecoming, so we want to play our butts off this week.

Q. When did you get interested in Oklahoma?

A. I got interested in Oklahoma when I came on my visit. You know, I showed them my classes and I watched film, talked to Coach [Bob] Stoops, [Jay] Norvell and just the opportunity was the best thing for me here. All my classes transferred, all my major, so it was the best thing for me.

Q. Were there any other schools you were looking at to transfer to?

A. Yes. Washington and Texas A&M were my top two schools coming out when I was transferring.

Q. And then OU contacted you and said come visit and you came and visited and liked what you saw?

A. Yeah. I loved it up here on my visit.

Q. How do you fit into this receiving corps, do you think? There's a lot of kinds of different players.

A. You know, I feel like I bring like the erky jerky type to the game like shiftiness. So, I know we got a lot of big play receivers on our team. We got Kenny [Stills], Justin [Brown], Lacoltan [Bester], Durron [Neal], Sterling [Shepard], Trey [Metoyer]. We got a lot of talent at receiver, so I don't know. Me adding to the team, you know, it's just bringing another dimension to our receiving corps.

Q. [Aaron] Colvin said you're a guy that can score a touchdown on one catch. If there was a knock against this offense, it hasn't had a ton of big plays in the passing game so far this year. Can you bring that to the table? You were second nationally in yards per catch last year.

A. I believe so. If I have the opportunity to score a touchdown, I'm gonna try to do it. My thing is never let the first man tackle me.

Q. Who was the first person to hit you up after the game Saturday?

A. It was my dad just congratulating me and thanking me.

Q. How happy is he for your opportunity to play right away?

A. He's real happy. You know, it's a blessing that he's still alive today. Everything has happened with him. I was just excited to play for the team and for him.

Q. When you go out there I guess he's on your mind probably when you enter the field, right?

A. Yeah. All the time.

Q. Can you talk about everything that's going on with your dad?

A. I can, but it's something real personal so I don't really want to go into too [much] detail about it.

Q. Does it motivate you on the field. Is that what it does?

A. Yeah, it is a motivation thing.

Q. That first pass, just your thoughts after catching it and getting the first catch in, instant thoughts, what were your instant thoughts?

A. You know, I saw the ball coming. I was like, ‘OK, here comes the ball. Catch. Tuck it away.' I didn't want to lose the ball on my first catch, so you know, I was just excited after that. And I was trying to make some extra yards after the catch, but I just did what I did on that play.

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