Even though we’re in the window between the two Signing Days, Fresno State’s coaching staff has not been resting at all. They have reeled in 5 big transfers at positions of need for the program, 3 coming from PAC-12 programs, and 2 being former 4* recruits. Let’s take a look at all 5.
First to join the program was Wide Receiver Ty Jones from Washington. The former 4* recruit out of Provo, UT was part of Chris Petersen’s 2017 class for the Huskies, and brought an impressive amount of size to the program. His last measurements put him at 6’4” tall, and 215 pounds. In 3 years with Washington, he brought in 44 passes for 702 yards and 6 touchdowns. While Fresno State is seemingly stocked at wide receiver with young and experienced talent, getting someone with the frame and skills of Jones will be great for the program, especially as a hybrid receiver/tight end like Jared Rice was for multiple years. With the eligibility of 2020 not counting, Jones should have two more years in Fresno.
Next up was another 4* PAC-12 player, this time out of Utah. Jordan Wilmore left Utah after his sophomore season, and is now back in California with Fresno State. Like two of Fresno State’s incoming recruits, Wilmore comes from Lawndale, CA. Now, the Fresno State running back rotation is going to be insanely packed for 2021 with Ronnie Rivers coming back for a 5th year, plus Jordan Mims, Jevon Bigelow, Malik Sherrod, Jordan Hornbeak, and Jonathan Arcenaux. He projects a lot like Ronnie Rivers, standing at 5’8” and 200lbs. He will come in to the program with 3 years left to play, which will be great for the 2022 and 2023 Fresno State teams.
The next player coming in should be familiar to Mountain West football fans, and is a bit of a surprise to end up in Fresno. Former Boise State Bronco and Florida International Panther Tyson Maeva has graduated, and with the extra year of eligibility, will be an instant contributor in a defense needing a physical presence in the middle. He played in 4 games against Fresno State in 2017 and 2018, then transferred to Miami to play for Butch Davis the last two years. After 2020, he entered the transfer portal and decided between Fresno State and UNLV. He’s been known for physical play at both stops, and that is something that the Bulldogs were really looking for after Justin Rice left before the 2020 season.
Next up, we’re going down to the Big Sky Conference and Sacramento State, for CB Daron Bland. The 6’, 200lb corner has been a lockdown player for the Hornets and a track & field athlete with burner speed. He was first team All-Big Sky in 2019, the last season that Sac State played, and should be an instant starter in Fresno for a secondary that definitely can use the help after a frustrating year on the injury and play front. In two years of starting, he logged 87 tackles, 3 INTs, 13 PBUs, two FFs, 9.5 tackles for loss and a sack. He also maintains a family connection to the Dogs, as his brother ran track at Fresno State. Bland should be immediately eligible, with one season plus a potential redshirt year if needed.
Last up was just today, with Oregon State linebacker Isaac Garcia announcing that he’s transferring to Fresno State. With William Inge turning the defense to a 4-2-5 base in 2020, Garcia will be almost perfect as the hybrid DE/LB that the coaches are looking for. He should fit into the mold of Mykal Walker after he earned PFF All-Rookie status in the NFL. Oregon State operated in a 3-4 defense, and Garcia wasn’t quite able to become the DE that they desired on the edge. Now he’ll get another chance, and will look to have the same kind of success that the last Oregon State transfer to Fresno State had in Marcus McMaryion.
This was just a quick look at the 5 brand new Bulldogs added this week. For any new Fresno State news, keep it glued here to MountainWest Connection.