Welcome to the fourth piece of 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.
The Bulldogs experienced many highs and a few lows during the 2021 season. A close loss to Oregon was followed by an upset of UCLA. They found themselves ranked for a short while before inexplicably losing to Hawaii. FSU bounced back, becoming the first team to defeat San Diego State before getting manhandled by Boise State. Overall it was a successful season thanks to strong quarterback play and balance on both sides of the ball. Turnovers were their largest flaw and popped up too often.
Then a coaching change happened. Coach DeBoer went to Washington, and after a short time in limbo, the Bulldogs welcomed back Jeff Tedford. That continuity seemed beneficial in holding on to the recruiting class. Read about the class below.
The Road So Far:
Fresno State saw an uptick in their recruiting under DeBoer, which was evident in this class. While a bit on the small side, it is only the start, and there is no doubt Tedford will want to find some of his own players as well. FSU signed ten players, five on offense and five on defense. On brand, the vast majority of them hail from California. The lone out-of-state signee came from nearby Arizona.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Bulldogs took two wide receivers, a tight end, and two offensive linemen. Wideouts Jalen Moss and Nathan Acevedo have the potential to be key contributors down the line for the Bulldogs. Merhauti Xepera will continue the strong tradition at tight end in the offense. Nate Maier and Marcus Simien both have the size and talent on the offensive line and project well there for the future.
Over on the defense, there is a ton of talent coming to this side of the ball. There are three new players along the defensive line. Gavriel Lightfoot brings some nice size in the middle of the line, while Jahzon Jaacks should compliment him on the outside. Miles Baily is the big name here as he has all-conference type of potential as a pass-rusher. Tim Thomas appears to be a solid linebacker entering the fold, and Jomarion Briggs is a long, rangy defensive back.
Number who signed in December: 10
Number who will enroll early: 0
247 Composite Rankings:
- Overall: 87th
- Recruiting: 78th
- Transfer: N/A
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: LB, RB, QB, OL DB
Fresno State’s current group of ten signees is currently small, but they figure to add to that number between now and February. Still, they have a solid class so far, and if they keep on their current trajectory, things should work out well.
Some key spots still need to be addressed by the Bulldogs. Running back and quarterback appear to be glaring holes in the class but keep in mind they addressed those positions extremely well in the previous class. With that being said, look for FSU to still cover those spots to some degree. Teams can always use another o-line player or two, so it would not be a surprise to see that spot focused on over the next few months. The most pressing positions are probably linebacker and defensive back. With only one linebacker signed so far, adding one to two more LBs would make a great deal of sense. Likewise, the same holds true for defensive backs.
Last year the Bulldogs found great success in the transfer portal and could do the same this year if they wanted to. While they don’t have glaring needs, it is important for the team to add to their stockpile and complete this class on a high note.
Coming next: Hawaii