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 were thought to be in a rebuilding year but started the season on fire, winning their first five games and knocking off two Power 5 opponents. After getting upset by Wyoming, they won three straight games and seemed poised to play in the conference championship game once again. However, things unraveled for Fresno State, and they dropped their last three regular-season games, losing to San Jose State, New Mexico, and San Diego State in an embarrassing fashion. However, they were able to rebound and win their bowl game over New Mexico State in convincing fashion.
Now that the season is over, it is once again time to take stock of the talent leaving the team and trying to replace them in this recruiting class in some way. Fresno State has put together a talented recruiting class with an emphasis on high school players. Read about the class below.
The Road So Far:
Fresno State put together a very solid class under Coach Tedford’s guidance. They signed 16 players in December for the second year in a row, and in a major throwback, most of the players are from the high school level, which only two hailing from junior college. Six recruits are signed to play offense, meaning ten will be assigned to the defensive side of the ball. Every player in this class except one is from the state of California, with the lone exception being a player from Arizona.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Bulldogs got a good running back in Bryson Donelson, who looks to join a talented backfield at a school that can develop at the position. He is joined by a pair of wide receivers, Marshel Sanders, who is one of the most talented players in this class, and junior college signee Karim McCune. Jace Nixon brings tons of size to the tight end position and talent as well. Fresno State also signed two offensive linemen, Ethan Dasmann and Marsel Akins, who both possess size as well as talent for the position.
Over on the defense, they added the majority of their class. Auckland Asiata will man the middle of the defensive line and should be a solid player in due time. Edge rusher Damarrion White is the prize of this class, with tons of talent and the ideal length to excel at the pass-rushing position. Freno State added two linebackers to their ranks with Logan Studt and Tytus Khajavi looking like two of the better players in this class. The majority of their signees are defensive backs, with five new players added to the position. They blend a nice mix of size in Jakari Embry and Kiontre Harris, with other talented players in Jordan Pierro, Loyall Mouzon, and Gerayas Grimes. Lastly, Jordan Malau’ulu is being brought in as an athlete in this class, and he is could be plugged in either as a wide receiver or a defense back.
Number who signed in December: 16
Number who will enroll early: 1
247 Composite Rankings:
- Overall: 87th
- Recruiting: 81st
- Transfer: N/A
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: QB, OL, DL
Fresno State’s current group of signees looks to be another solid class. They addressed a lot of positions and should feel comfortable at this point in the recruiting calendar. However, the work is never truly done and there are still some things to check off between now and February.
Some key spots still need to be addressed by the Bulldogs. One of them is quarterback. This position has become tricky in the transfer era, because a starter is firmly in place and that won’t attract too many people. However, with their primary backup departing, adding another signal caller in some fashion seems beneficial. Also, Fresno State could look to add more players in the trenches. They didn’t add much in interior of the defense so far and it’s never a bad thing to have extra depth there. The same goes for the offensive side of the ball, where like most teams, adding a transfer at that spot could pay large dividends. It wouldn’t be surprising to see transfers coming in at any other spots, but these three positions appear to be the biggest needs currently.
The Bulldogs are well on their way to securing a solid signing day class. They have most of the pieces in place currently but need to fill a gap or two between now and February. Last year, Fresno State showed they can reload with the best of them, and there’s no reason they can’t build on that again this year.
Coming next: Hawaii