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The Recruiting Road So Far: Fresno State

Taking a look at the Bulldog’s December class.

NCAA Football: Fresno State at UNLV Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the fourth post in our twelve-part series that hopefully makes the dead period go by a bit quicker. These articles aim to provide a detailed look at what each team has done thus far on the recruiting trail and what work still needs to be put in before NLI day in February. One team a day will be featured this year in alphabetical order. Today will look at Fresno State.

Fresno State:

The 2020 season had its bumps and bruises for pretty much everyone, and Fresno State was no exception. They dropped their first game before going on a three-game win streak and being perhaps the conference’s hottest team. Then, Covid luck hit, and two of their games were cancelled. They came back for their final two games but lost their momentum and lost those games.

With eligibility rules being adjusted for Covid, it’s a bit difficult to know which players are staying or leaving. That makes it a bit harder to understand what specific needs are in the class. That being said, this class needed to shore up the depth in almost every area after the program experienced a high amount of attrition following the coaching change. To see how they’ve done so far, look below.

The Road So Far:

Fresno State never seemed to recruit as well as it could have the past few years under Coach Tedford. That all changed this year. The Bulldogs have put together a great class so far, one that is in the top part of the conference. As usual, the majority of their players hail from California, but they dipped into a few other western states as well to secure some players.

Looking at the offense, Fresno State didn’t take many players so far, but they are loaded with talent. Jaylen Henderson is one of the top dual-threat QBs in this class, while Braylen Nelson is a solid pick up on the offensive line. Tre Walker has some size at the tight end positions, but the real stars are at running back. Jordan Hornbeak is talented enough to start from day one, and Johnathan Arceneaux joins him as one of the top RB commits in the conference who happens to be going to the same team.

The defense added to their ranks, and most of the Fresno State commits are coming on this side of the ball. Julius Lewis, up front at DT, looks like a potential all-conference performer and is joined by Tito Chikere and Frankco Gratton Jr on either end with their length. The Bulldogs also loaded up in the secondary. They blended a nice mix of size (Malik Brooks, Julian Neal, and Emari Pait) with speed and coverage ability (Alzillion Hamilton, Charlotin Charles), plus some legit top-end talent with Jalen Williams and Cale Sanders, two of the more highly rated prospects in their class.

Number who signed in December: 15

Number who will enroll early: 0

247 Composite: 77

The Road Ahead:

Top Targets Remaining: WR, OL, LB

This is a class that is in pretty good shape. They certainly have the star power at quarterback, running back, and cornerback. They have decent depth and are especially loaded in the secondary. All in all, it’s a really strong class, but there is still some work to be done.

Looking at their class, there are needs in a few different spots, especially considering DeBoer’s comments on taking as many as eight more in this class. It would be surprising if they didn’t end up with at least one wide receiver, if not two. Likewise, they could take two additional offensive linemen. On defense, they don’t need as many linebackers due to their hybrid husky position, but adding one or perhaps two would round out the class nicely.

Again, the remaining work in this class is more about positional need as opposed to needing a boost in the overall talent. That bodes well for Fresno State, and if they can do that, they could compete for a top-three class in the conference. At this point, it’s hard to see them finishing worse than fourth.

Previous posts: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State

Coming tomorrow: Hawaii