As we continue to face an uncertain future for both college football and high school sports, one thing that hasn’t stopped is the recruiting cycle. With a brand new staff in place, and everything pretty well shut down, the Bulldogs had a massive week on the recruiting trail, pulling in 6 big recruits over the course of 8 days. Even without coaching a game, the staff that Kalen DeBoer has assembled has already shown their worth.
Let’s take a look at the 6 recruits that they got this week:
July 11: RB Jordan Hornbeak
The first recruit of the week may have the biggest local implications for the program. Fresno State has had issues getting local stars to stay at home, but players like Jalen Cropper and now Hornbeak are helping to change that perception. Hornbeak hails from nearby San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, the same school that Josh Kelly and Mac Dalena came from in the last 2 classes. Hornbeak comes in ranked as the 40th ranked running back in the class, and is currently rated as the top recruit in the class, at .8647 in the 24/7 Composite. The 6’, 195lb running back looks to be a star that will help fill the gap of Ronnie Rivers after he graduates
July 13: TE Tre Watson
Next up on the docket was tight end Tre Watson from New Mexico. After news came out that the state was moving their football season to the Spring, Watson decided now was the time to commit. The Rio Rancho product had an interesting choice to make, as he was also being recruited by multiple Mountain West schools for basketball after missing his junior season with a broken arm. The 6’5”, 205lb athlete could definitely stand to bulk up to be the next Jared Rice or Bear Pascoe, but this coaching staff will definitely put the tight end position to use. Watson comes in as the No.88 ranked tight end, and with a .8194 rating in the 24/7 Composite.
July 14: RB Johnathan Arcenaux
Thursday, July 14th was a huge day for the Bulldogs, and a huge day for Lawndale High School in LA County. They got two commits in the same day, both from the same high school, and both highly recruited players. First is the counterpart to Hornbeak in the 2021 class, Johnathan Arcenaux. While Hornbeak may be more of the bruising kind of back, Arcenaux is very much the speed back in the mold of Jalen Cropper and Jordan Mims. He is listed as an All-Purpose Back, and is ranked as the 14th best in this class. The 6’, 185lb back held offers from the entire Mountain West besides Air Force, as well as Cal, Oregon State, and Utah. The Dogs were able to get both Arcenaux and his teammate for their class over multiple Power 5 offers in the PAC-12. Arcenaux comes in with a .8410 rating in the 24/7 Composite.
July 14: OL Rolan Fullwood
The other half of Fresno State’s Lawndale Thursday came in before Arcenaux on the day, but I’m going alphabetically. This massive O-Lineman has good experience opening up running lanes for his running back, and it looks like he’ll get a great chance to do that at Fresno State. Fullwood committed to the Bulldogs over offers from USC, Kansas, UNLV, SDSU, and Nevada. Any time the Dogs can get a win over USC, they’ll definitely take it. He is rated as the No. 60 offensive guard in the country, and with a .8416 rating in the 24/7 Composite. It appears that the staff will be grooming him for left tackle, where his 6’6”, 305lb frame could come in extremely handy creating lanes and keeping the QB upright.
July 16: QB Jaylen Henderson
If it wasn’t for Hornbeak earlier in the week, this would have been the biggest news for the Bulldogs, and the centerpiece of their class. Jaylen Henderson also hails from the LA Area, this time coming from Chaminade High School in West Hills, and is definitely a student as well as an exceptional athlete. He held offers from Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Yale, Rice, Navy, as well as most of the Mountain West. He trimmed his final list down to Fresno State and Vanderbilt, and decided he wanted to be the next great Bulldog quarterback. He definitely has the size and highlight reel for playing QB, showing at 6’3” and 205lbs, and is ranked as the No.22 dual threat QB in the country. He also has ties to the Dogs, being the younger cousin of former defensive captain and WAC DPOY Chris Carter. He is now the second highest rated player in the class, holding a .8532 rating in the 24/7 Composite.
July 16: OL Braylen Nelson
The last piece of Fresno State’s whirlwind week came as a surprise, and followed hot on the heels of Henderson’s commitment. Braylen Nelson committed to the Bulldogs after his hometown Colorado Buffaloes went through a coaching change, and also held offers from Colorado State, SDSU, UNLV, and Wyoming. The Aurora, CO, native decided that Fresno State was the school for him after meeting with the coaching staff and the staff getting to know Nelson and his family. He also comes in with a good frame for an O-Lineman, standing 6’5” tall and weighing 310lbs. Like all of the other commits in this article, he is a solid 3* recruit, and both Nelson and Fullwood come in as Top 5 O-Linemen for Fresno State in the last decade. Nelson comes in with a .8484 rating in the 24/7 Composite.
So that’s a wrap on one heck of a week for Fresno State football. The new staff has wasted no time at all in getting to work on the 2021 class, regardless of what the college football season looks like. And with the announcement of the CIF that California will be pushing high school football to January, it looks like commitments and recruiting will speed up even more before Signing Day in December. Keep a watch on Mountain West Connection for the latest news and information you need.