MWC Roundup 7-17-17
Fresno State is off to a hot recruiting start during the month of July, picking up five commits thus far, including four all on July 14th. MountainWestConnection takes a closer look at each of the five players based on their film and interviews:
TE John McCartan:
McCartan has the look of a traditional tight end lining up next to the tackle the majority of the time. Although his 6’5 215 lb frame has him a bit tall, he appears to do well in blocking situations and is not afraid to throw himself in the mix to create an opening for his teammates. His routes as a pass-catcher are of the shorter variety but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a factor. John has a wide catch radius and displays sure hands, which will make him a favored target for any QB.
WR Ricardo Arias:
- Quote from Recruit: “My family and close friends influenced my decision; I wanted to make it so my family can make it to all home games. Also seeing the things that are going on I wanted to be a part of a program that is on a rise. Being the player I am I feel that I can have a positive impact on the program. The coaches said they want me to help improve the passing game and they love my passion. Once I get on campus they want me to compete for a starting spot. My attributes are I can open up my teammates by being a threat on the field because I’m often double teamed. Once I get the hang of college ball I will be able to go full throttle per say and can turn short plays into big ones. Also I've been working on blocking because I know you’re not a complete receiver if you don't block. I put in hard work every day and because of that I have confidence in my ability to contribute.”
Arias could end up being a steal for the Bulldogs. His highlight films has “The Ultimate Weapon” on it and it is easy to see why. He has the size at a listed 6’3 and 200 lbs. He also possesses the game speed that coaches covet. Arias’ best trait, however, could be his route-running and body control. Ricardo is used in a variety of routes: the deep ball, over the middle, and in the flat where he does surprisingly well outrunning players for someone his size. His routes also show an advanced ability to adjust to the ball in the air and high point the catch. Arias could make an immediate impact on the field for the Bulldogs offense.
LB Sherwin King:
- Quote from Recruit: “Having coaches like Coach Tedford & Coach Watts, I couldn't pass up the opportunity of becoming a Bulldog. They like my size, play-making ability, and versatility. I’ll be a SAM backer for them because I can play downhill and stop the run but also can get out there and cover some WRs in the slot. I play with (fellow commit) Deshawn [Ruffin] and have been talking to Ricardo a bit. It's a blessing seeing guys you grew with and now playing college ball together, it’s crazy. I can’t wait to sign on National Signing Day!”
King is a tackle machine, racking up over 100 in his junior season alone. It’s plain to see why as Sherwin is a punishing hitter, making every play with determined force. He appears to be at his best close to the line of scrimmage where he can use his skills to help out in the run game. However, he is also able to do well in coverage as he is a playmaker who ends up all over the field to take down opponents. King could be a player who makes a big impact on special teams as well as defense.
DB Deshawn Ruffin:
- Quote from Recruit: “I chose Fresno State because I'm big on family and loyalty. I went down to the school and everybody was welcoming and passionate about Fresno State football. The program is going in the right direction. They are looking at me at corner and coaches really like my speed. I have that quick twitch with the ball in my hand; all I need is a lane and I'm usually going to the house with it.”
Ruffin plays a solid corner on his film. He either has good instincts or prepares well from watching film but either way he seems to put himself in a good position to attack the ball when thrown his way. Deshawn plays the ball well does a nice job jumping routes. His athleticism is most apparent on his kick return highlights, where he makes a major impact and it should carry over to the next level.
DT Matt Kjeldgaard:
- Quote from Recruit: “First reason I chose Fresno State is that it is close to home. I live just under 2 hours away from Fresno State and it is important to me to be close to family. Second is the outstanding coaching staff. Anyone would be lucky to play for the coach the caliber of Tedford, and I was lucky enough to have that opportunity so I seized it. The coaches like my intensity, awareness, how quick I get off the ball, and that I’m not afraid to do the dirty work inside. Once I arrive I’ll be put to work right away. I’m a mobile D-line player, so I can play NT or 3-technique. I'm going to finish my senior year at Oakdale, where we have a lot of returning players from our 2016 Division III-A State Champion team. After that I'm planning on signing as soon as I can and becoming a Bulldog!
One word to describe Matt on film is disruptive. A 270 lb force has no trouble shedding blocks and getting into the backfield to the QB or RB. There are times he even gets through double teams. Kjeldgaard uses a swim move a few times in addition to his brute strength when going up against offensive linemen. If he adds some weight and continues to be coaches up his senior year as well as college, he should develop into a solid nose tackle for Fresno State.
These five July commits give the Bulldogs ten for the 2018 class already, and add to the strong foundation of diverse and talented players this Fresno State coaching staff is putting together. From the player’s comments, it’s easy to see there is a buzz going on with what is being built over in Fresno.
MWC Recruiting Tidbits:
- LB Nathan Amico is scheduled to visit Nevada July 28th
- OL Alama Uluave said at this time, he is interested in Hawaii, Boise State, Washington State, Syracuse, and the academy schools, among others. Currently he is trying to decide on which schools he will take official visits to.
- JUCO RB Greg Bell plans to visit Boise State on July 24th
- San Diego State leads the conference in total commitments thus far with 12, including DE Keshawn Banks this week
- This week, Nevada picked up an OL commit Garrett Nickelson
- UNLV received a commitment this week from TE Ben Redding
- CSU got a pair of commits in the past week, QB Matthew Baldwin and DE Troy Golden
- New Mexico got a commit from OL Chris Elam