Tuesday, January 31, 2006

No Offers for Knox

<bgsound src="http://video.scout.com/Media/Video/23/232686.wmv" loop="1">

Crenshaw High School senior Tyquan Knox will not be signing a letter on signing day like he once thought.

"It's real frustrating. Some things happened and I got a bad deal and things weren't like what people were saying," said Knox.

"Things didn't go like I had hoped."

Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and even San Jose State have stopped calling and did not offer the 3 star prospect.

"I kind of feel like I'm getting screwed," said Knox.

"I don't know what happened, schools just stopped calling."

Knox out played hotshot receiver prospect Jamere Holland of Taft in the season opener, but still did not get the hype of other top California prospects. That was a good sign for Fresno State, where Knox was supposed to have visited back on Jan. 6. Back in October, UCLA was his favorite, but the Bulldogs were still on his list of college choices. His quote's from last October:

"UCLA is still my leader. If they offered, I'd basically commit, but then I'd like to take some visits," he said.

"They are just a good school and I have a lot of boys up there."

"I got offered by Washington just recently and Arizona offered me a long time ago. Fresno State is going to offer me soon," said Knox.

"I'm still really waiting for UCLA to offer me."

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Back in early November Knox had an off-field incident that sent him to Harbor City's Narbonne HS. He is back at Crenshaw, now, but he missed the remainder of the season, including the playoffs. What ever the incident may be it has scared off all suitors, including Pat Hill and Fresno State. If it is a legal matter, I know Fresno State's code of conduct will not allow Hill to even offer Knox a chance to walk on, but if not, Knox is the steal of the recruiting season. He is an excellent route runner with great speed. He also excelled at defensive back, and could play as true freshman. He is that talented.

Knox is a hard nosed player in the mold of a typical Hill recruit, but better. One reason hradarw under rader was because of all the hype surrounding teammate Darian Hagan Jr.

Hagan is the son of former Colorado All-American quarterback of the same name, and is one of the top recruits in the country.

Knox must now sit and wait. If no one offers before Fall, he will have to go the JC route. I say give the kid a chance, if his incident has nothing to do with the law. He already has the attitude Hill loves to recruit.

"People haven't seen the last of me. I've got a chip on my shoulder now. You have to have one. I'll make the schools who passed up on me realize what they miss."

If the video does not load up the direct link is here.

Recruiting Update: Changing His Mind***update***

Jamal Hamler originally committed to Fresno State along with teammates Nico Herron and Damion Owens early on in the recruiting season. However, Oregon came calling this month, and Hamler de-committed. It seems Hamler just wanted kept his options open, and Oregon became his college choice. The information about Hamler following his teammates back to Fresno is unverified. *****Some idiot at a local radio station announced it to the public, and I thought my confidential source was correct about Hamler changing his mind. However, it is never official until the letter is signed. It doesn't look like Hamler will be a Bulldog.*****I'm the Idiot, looks like Hamler will be Bulldog, after all****

In other recruiting news, Robert Schenck's visit to Washington set for this past weekend was cancelled. That all but signals his soft verbal will be a solid one by tomorrow, hopefully. Update: Schenck will sign with Fresno State.

regular text- verbal but not solid
italics-soft verbal
bold- solid verbal

Name Pos Ht Wt 40time Hometown (Stars)

  1. Lorne Bell LB 5-10 197 4.88 Simi Valley, CA (2)
  2. Anthony Harding RB 6-0 202 4.6 Turlock, CA (3)
  3. Kenny Hedrington RB 5-10 190 Fresno, CA (2)
  4. Nico Herron LB 6-2 222 4.9 San Leandro, CA (3)
  5. Andrew Jackson DE 6-5 237 5.24 Grass Valley, CA (3)
  6. Ben Jacobs LB 6-3 225 4.83 Las Vegas, NV (2)
  7. A.J. Jefferson CB 6-1 175 Bakersfield, CA (2)
  8. Robert Malone TE/DE/P 6-2 225 Riverside, CA (2)
  9. Lonyae Miller RB 5-11 205 4.5 Fontana, CA (3)
  10. Damion Owens DB 5-11 180 4.99 San Leandro, CA (3)
  11. Charlie Robbins OL 6-2 265 5.4 Fresno, CA (2)
  12. Mark Roberts DT 6-2 275 4.8 Modesto, CA (2)
  13. Robert Schenck LB 6-3 235 4.7 San Marcos, CA (3)
  14. Taylor Smith DE 6-2 224 4.84 Clovis, CA (3)
  15. Will Smith LB 6-3 215 Fresno, CA (2)
  16. Ken Wiggins OL 6-6 265 5.6 Elk Grove, CA (2)
  17. Barry Wilson WR 6-4 185 Tulare, CA (2)

The Sleepers

Pat Hill always lands the sleepers. The prospect many don't know about but becomes a great college player. Think back to the 2001 class and Porterville native James Sanders. 2 star prospect that became one of the best strong safeties in the country as a Bulldog.

The 2002 class had a 1 star safety prospect that Hill envisioned as a college cornerback. While 2002 4 star safety Vincent Mays has yet to emerge, Marcus McCauley has become an all-WAC performer just like Hill envisioned.

The 2003 class is still young, many have just finished their redshirt sophomore year, but one stands out, Cole Popovich. Popovich officially is not listed on the 2003 class because he grayshirted, meaning he did not enroll at Fresno State until the spring of 2004. He was a starting guard as a freshman in 2004 until he was injured against Kansas State and had to redshirt. He came back as a redshirt freshman in 2005 and picked up where he left off and was named freshman all-American.

His counterpart at the guard position, Ryan Wendell, was considered a national sleeper in 2004. Many BCS schools backed off the 6-2 260 lb guard because of his size, but not Hill. Wendell took over Popovich's spot in 04 and was named freshman all-American.

The 2005 class has just one year under its belt, and all but one redshirted, Richard Pacheco. Hard to tell which sleeper will be the next great star, but keep an eye on WRs Seyi Ajurotutu and Chastin West.

This year Hill looks to have landed a boatload of guys that look to have great speed and tremendous athletic ability. Robert Schenck, Nico Herron, Lonyae Miller are just a few of great prospects Hill has plucked from the land of unknowns. However, two Fresno area prospects are considered two of West Sleepers on rivals.com. Edison's Charles Amadi and Buchanan's Justin Prueitt are listed as 3 star sleepers to keep an eye on from the West. Despite all Hill's efforts it is very discouraging that Fresno State can not land these type of national sleepers from their own backyard.

Justin Prueitt, OL, Fresno (Calif.) Buchanan

Played defensive tackle his entire high school career, but will be an OL on the next level for the Bears. He really impressed in his first serious duty at OT in the CaliFlorida Bowl and it looks like the Bears are once again getting a super-star out of a three-star prospect.

Charles Amadi, DE, Fresno (Calif.) Edison

Amadi, who is a candidate to win the California triple-jump state title, is a fantastic athlete and a spectacular student. If he's anything like some other former Cal players of Nigerian descent, like Joe Igber, Adimchinobe Echemandu and Nnamdi Asomugha, the Bears have a major talent.

*note Amadi is really a safety, just a type by rivals.com, I pressume

As if Valley Prospects Need Anymore Reasons...

Collegefootballnews.com is doing their annual boom and bust prospects from the class of 2002. Two prospects standout to Valley football fans, former Edison cornerback Aaron Miller and former Fresno State cornerback Richard Marshall.

Boom: DB Richard Marshall, Fresno State-A two-year starter, Marshall played well enough in the Valley to declare early for the NFL Draft, where he projects as a late first-day selection.

Bust: DB Aaron Miller, Oklahoma/Oregon State- Miller failed to qualify academically, and never played a down for the Sooners. A short stint at Fresno City College preceded a transfer to Oregon State, where he played sparingly in six games last fall.

Miller was a 4 star blue chip recruit out of Edison High School after a stellar senior year in 2001. He took all five of his official visits to BCS schools: UCLA, USC, Michigan, LSU and Oklahoma. Fresno State was never considered out of high school. He narrowed his choices down to three, UCLA, USC, and Oklahoma. He decided to follow in the footsteps of the last NorCal DB to sign with the Sooners, Roy Williams. However, he had a second chance to become a Bulldog.

After not qualifying at Oklahoma, Miller ended up back home at Fresno City College. He showed his potential again he was named all-conference, recorded 68 tackles, and had 6 interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. The recruiting frenzy was on again. This time Fresno State was among his suitors. Miller took only one official, to Oregon State, and turned down Cal, USC and Fresno State. He was expected to help shore up a rebuilding secondary in Corvallis, but as CFN stated, he played very little and was insignificant.

He still has one more year to live up to the hype. The knock I hear on Miller is that he is soft and doesn't like to hit, a la Deion Sanders. But doesn't have the ability to lock down like a Sanders or make big plays. I have not studied much film on him, but did see quite a few of his games at Edison. It is hard to tell against high school competition, but it was evident even in 2001 that junior DBs Clifton Smith and Lorenzo Sims, would be better at the next level.

Marshall on the other hand, was an under the radar 2 star WR/DB playing at Locke HS in L.A. Marshall had an offer from USC, but spurned the Trojans to sign at Fresno State. Huh? Yup, a L.A. kid turns down his hometown Pac 10 power to play in the Valley. The decision paid off. After redshirting in 2002, Marshall eventually became the starter at the end of 2003. After two plus years as a Bulldog starting cornerback, he has become the 6th best cornerback prospect for the upcoming NFL draft.

Now why do Valley kids leave home, but L.A. area kids flock to Fresno? Of the 14 Valley players playing in the NFL, 10 played at Fresno State, and one more wished he had. Ricky Manning supposedly told Hill at the 2003 East-West Shrine game that he should have gone to Fresno State instead of UCLA.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Cream of the Crop

The Contra Costa Times releases its Cream of the Crop every recruiting season. The lists consists of the area's top 20 high school players/recruits. Fresno State recruited more than its fare share of these 20 athletes, and received 3 early commitments from the top 10. However, one, #6 rated Jamal Hamler, de-committed to Oregon. His two teammates, from San Leandro HS, are ranked 7th and 8th, Nico Herron and Damion Owens, respectively.

1. Derrick Hill
DT 6-2 285 McClymonds
Coaches rave about this year's best prospect. Most closely compared to the Raiders' Warren Sapp. "Can play anywhere," a WAC assistant said. "Great with his hands, and first step is incredibly fast." Was defensive MVP of Cal, USC camps, according to McClymonds coach Alonzo Carter. McClymonds' leading tackler. "Has perfect technique for a tackle in a 4-3 (defense)," Carter said. "Big guy with a motor." Said a Pac-10 assistant: "As good as advertised. Plays hard. Likes game. Likes to practice." Final five were Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, USC, Cal. Announced intentions at U.S. Army All-Star game. College: Cal

2. Josh Tatum
LB 6-1 225 McClymonds
Injuries in junior and senior seasons limited playing time but didn't prevent feverish recruiting battle. "Best linebacker I saw," a Pac-10 assistant said. "The way he runs, the way he strikes people. Has a lot of ability." Suffered torn ACL in fourth game and missed remainder of 2005 season. Had shoulder injury in 2004. "When healthy can be a special player," McClymonds coach Alonzo Carter said. "Really explosive in his legs and hips. Potential is untapped. Tremendous athlete and hard worker." Said Mountain West Conference scout: "Even with bad knee he's fast. Can be a pro linebacker if he works at it." Chose among Tennessee, Miami, USC, Cal, Michigan. College: USC

3. Mike Costanzo
DT 6-2 305 Monte Vista
Best player in Contra Costa County in two years. "Big, strong, tough," said a recruiter. "Will be a good football player." Said a WAC assistant: "Might be the best player in the (East Bay). Good quickness and movement. I see him on the inside defensive line." Active and physical, according to one college football recruiter. "Tremendous player," Monte Vista coach Craig Bergman said. "Will make an immediate impact. Has size, strength and unbelievable quickness." Had offers from Nebraska, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, the entire Pac-10. Committed very early. College: Cal

4. Na Derris Ward
TE 6-5 245 McClymonds
First Cream of the Crop tight end since Isaac Watts (Encinal HS, Arizona) in 2001. Highest rated tight end since Marcus Williams (Berkeley HS) in 1996. "Prototype size," McClymonds coach Alonzo Carter said. "Has good hands, takes good routes. Needs to get stronger." Excellent defensive end -- had 19 sacks, according to Carter. But it's at tight end where he excels. "Good one," a Mountain West Conference scout said. "Tall, rangy, can run, catch ball. One of the top dudes, if not the top dude, in that area." Had ton of offers. Chose among Tennessee, Arizona, Louisiana State, Georgia, Florida and Cal. Chose to play on opposite coast of cousin Josh Tatum. College: Georgia

5. A.J. Simmons
TE 6-4 250 Bishop O'Dowd
Will begin college at tight end, but many scouts see him as defensive end because of how he gets off ball. "Can do either (position). An athlete," Pac-10 assistant said. "Heart is at tight end, and I think he will be a tight end." Bishop O'Dowd coach Paul Perenon agreed. "Devastating blocker, one of the best I've seen at this level," Perenon said. "Soft hands, decent speed, will get faster. My bet is that he is a tight end. He has more of an offensive player's mentality." Has perhaps more tools than any member of this year's Crop. "Big, powerful, size, range -- has a lot of potential," a Pac-10 scout said. Picked between Cal, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Washington, UCLA. College: Arizona

6. Jamel Hamler
WR 6-1 190 San Leandro
Stock has risen throughout recruiting process. Has size college recruiters look for. "Best receiver in the area," said one college assistant. "Can run, nice hands." Probable possession receiver in college, but some scouts think he will improve 4.6-second speed in 40. "Highly underrated," a WAC recruiter said. "Not blazer, but faster than he looks. Excellent athlete, tremendous hands." One assistant said he would be just as adept at cornerback as at wide receiver. "Unselfish," San Leandro coach Brad Bowers said. "Doesn't care how many touches he gets. Solid leader."
Committed to Fresno State, then de-committed.
College: Oregon

7. Nicco Herron
LB 6-2 225 San Leandro
Hard hitter who seems best-suited for middle linebacker. Could wind up at defensive end if he puts on enough weight. "One of my favorites," Mountain West Conference assistant said. "Has size, speed, really strikes you with his hands." Might need a year or two before he's ready to play full-time. One coach called him a raw talent. "Interesting kid," Pac-10 assistant said. "Tough-minded. Big, strong, physical, plays sideline-to-sideline." Called very aggressive by San Leandro coach Brad Bowers. "Fire and desire," Bowers said. "A field general on defense." Oregon, Utah, UNLV, Utah State among schools expressing interest. College: Fresno State

8. Damion Owens
CB 6-1 185 San Leandro
Big cornerback, which is a rarity in college nowadays. Will be total package if he can add a little speed. Timed at 4.65 seconds in 40. Could end up at free safety, according to San Leandro coach Brad Bowers. "Very physical, has good instincts," Bowers said. Three-year starter for the Pirates. "More of a cornerback (than safety)," Mountain West Conference scout said. "Is good player and shows quickness." Said a WAC assistant: "Runs as fast as he needs to. Excellent feet, good movement, good change of direction." Known as tough competitor. San Diego State, Washington State showed interest. College: Fresno State

rest of the list.........

2006 California Top 100

Compiled by SuperPrep Magazine

Rank Name High school/City Pos. Ht. Wt. College

*valley players in bold/FS commits in red
1 Stafon Johnson Dorsey/L.A. RB 6-0 220 Undecided
2 C.J. Gable Sylmar RB 6-0 190 USC
3 Jonas Mouton Venice SAF 6-2 212 Undecided
4 Derek Simmons Armijo/Fairfield DT 6-5 272 USC
5 David Ausberry Lemoore WR 6-4 215 USC
6 Allen Bradford Colton LB 6-0 222 USC
7 Devin Ross Rancho Cucamonga CB 5-11 180 Arizona
8 Derrick Hill McClymonds DT 6-2 285 Cal
9 Na Derris Ward McClymonds TE 6-5 245 Georgia
10 Shareece Wright Colton CB 5-11 185 USC
11 Josh Tatum McClymonds LB 6-1 225 USC
12 Anthony McCoy Bullard/Fresno TE 6-4 220 USC
13 Jamere Holland Taft/Woodland Hills WR 6-0 180 Undecided
14 Mark Johnson Dorsey/L.A. LB 6-3 230 Ohio St.
15 Terrence Austin Poly/Long Beach WR 5-10 170 UCLA
16 Darian Hagan Jr. Crenshaw/L.A. CB 6-0 170 Cal
17 Alex Parsons Woodridge/Irvine DE 6-4 260 USC
18 Darius Savage Morse/San Diego DT 6-4 320 UCLA
19 James Montgomrey Cordova/Rancho Cordova RB 5-10 195 Cal
20 Levirt Griffin Modesto DE 6-4 255 Stanford
21 Kenny Ashley Venice RB 5-8 200 Miss. St.
22 Jeff Miller Westlake/Westlake Village DE 6-6 235 UCLA
23 A.J. Simmons Bishop O'Dowd DE 6-4 250 Arizona
24 Toby Gerhart Norco RB 6-0 216 Stanford
25 Konrad Reuland Mission Viejo TE 6-6 240 Notre Dame
26 Sean Sheller Walnut OL 6-5 265 UCLA
27 Travis Goethel Vista LB 6-2 215 Arizona St.
28 Zack Heberer San Pedro OL 6-4 275 USC
29 Tracy Slocum Clovis East RB 5-10 190 Cal
30 Kai Forbath Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks PK 6-1 190 UCLA
31 Chane Moline Mission Viejo FB 6-1 230 UCLA
32 Sione Fua Crespi/Encino DT 6-2 290 Undecided
33 Jonathan Cornell Bishop Amat/LaPuente LB 6-3 220 Mississippi
34 Delashaun Dean Fairfield WR 6-4 190 Arizona
35 Jovon Hayes Dorsey/L.A. OL 6-3 320 Arizona
36 Devin Johnson Rancho Cucamonga DE 6-3 215 Undecided
37 Rodney Glass Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks RB 5-11 175 Arizona St.
38 Cody Pope University/San Diego OL 6-5 275 Tennessee
39 Mantangi Tonga Aragon/San Mateo DT 6-2 250 Undecided
40 Travon Patterson Poly/Long Beach WR 5-11 175 USC
41 Alfred Rowe Poly/Long Beach SAF 6-1 205 Oregon St.
42 De'Shon Matthews Laguna Creek/Elk Grove DT 6-5 253 Washington
43 Anthony Houston Mission Bay/San Diego WR 6-4 200 Wash. St.
44 Walter Watts Los Banos OL 6-4 290 Utah
45 Dominique Johnson Valley View/Moreno Valley WR 6-4 190 UCLA
46 Tyler Lyon Hart/Newhall QB 6-6 210 Arizona
47 Mike Costanzo Monte Vista DT 6-2 305 Cal
48 Keith Browner Dorsey/L.A. DE 6-5 221 Cal
49 Ryan Griffith Los Osos/Rancho Cucamonga OL 6-4 240 Undecided
50 Tobi Umodu South Hills/Covina LB 5-11 225 UCLA
51 Major Culbert Narbonne/Harbor City SAF 5-11 195 Nebraska
52 Ricky Thenarse Jordan/L.A. RB 6-1 180 Nebraska
53 Justin Prueitt Buchanan/Clovis OL 6-5 275 Cal
54 Isaac Leatiota Wilcox/Santa Clara DT 6-4 290 Cal
55 Jamarr Robinson Fairfield LB 6-3 240 Arizona St.
56 Conan Amituanai Poly/Long Beach DT 6-4 280 Arizona
57 Nathan Costa Hilmar QB 6-1 200 Oregon
58 Garrett Green Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks QB 6-1 190 Undecided
59 Leilyon Myers Lynwood RB 6-5 195 Washington
60 Jake Dean Paraclete/Lancaster OL 6-4 260 UCLA
61 Josh Holmes Point Loma/San Diego DT 6-3 262 Miami
62 Richard Sherman Dominguez/Compton WR 6-2 180 Stanford
63 Andy Keane Palm Springs OL 6-3 260 UCLA
64 Brandon Bennett Bishop Amat/La Puente OL 6-6 340 UCLA
65 Chris Lewis Clovis West DE 6-2 237 Miami
66 Sonny Tevaga Dominguez/Compton OL 6-4 355 UCLA
67 Daniel Lofton Westview/San Diego WR 6-2 190 Cal
68 James Smith Colton CB 6-2 180 Wash. St.
69 Lonyae Miller Kaiser/Fontana RB 6-0 195 Fresno St.
70 Grant Schwartz Dana Hills/Dana Point SAF 6-0 200 Ohio St.
71 Colin Baxter P.V. Peninsula/Rolling Hills OL 6-4 295 Arizona
72 Menelik Holt St. Augustine/San Diego WR 6-4 205 Nebraska
73 Will Yeatman Rancho Bernardo/Poway TE 6-6 265 Notre Dame
74 Marvin Johnson Dominguez/Compton DB 5-10 185 Oregon
75 David Carter Kaiser/Fontana DE 6-5 235 UCLA
76 Alterraun Verner Mayfair/Lakewood CB 6-0 175 UCLA
77 Christian Ramirez Imperial SAF 6-2 195 UCLA
78 Michael Turner Manteca CB 5-11 160 Arizona
79 R.J. Garrett Crenshaw/L.A. FB 6-0 235 Cal
80 Chris Wellington Taft/Woodland Hills WR 6-3 19 Undecided
81 Michael Herrick Valencia QB 6-1 175 Mississippi
82 John Reese Upland TE 6-4 215 Oregon St.
83 Marquez Herrod San Pasquel/Escondido DE 6-3 220 Oregon St.
84 Andre Crenshaw Antelope Valley/Lancaster CB 5-11 180 Undecided
85 Dwight Roberson St. Bonaventure/Ventura LB 6-0 195 Oregon
86 James Dockery Palm Desert/Indio WR 6-1 165 Oregon St.
87 Zach Niusulu Barstow DT 6-3 285 Arizona St.
88 Vince Joseph Poly/Long Beach CB 5-9 165 Undecided
89 Demetrius Sumler University/San Diego RB 5-11 210 Undecided
90 Justin Robertson Lakewood FB 5-11 220 Undecided
91 Ricky Elmore Grace Brethren/Simi Valley DE 6-5 235 Arizona
92 Toby Turpin Los Alamitos DT 6-4 250 Wash. St.
93 Anthony West Point Loma/San Diego DB 6-1 185 Nebraska
94 Lance Evbuomwan East Valley/Redlands TE 6-5 235 Arizona St.
95 Trevor Mooney Trabuco Hills/Mission Viejo TE 6-6 230 Wash. St.
96 Jurray Casey Poly/Long Beach LB 6-2 210 Oregon
97 Wesley Davis Steele Canyon/Spring Valley SAF 6-1 180 Boston Coll.
98 Trevor Reilly Valley Central/San Diego LB 6-4 200 Texas Tech
99 Howard Croom Wilson/Long Beach TE 6-4 235 Oregon St.
100 D'Aundre Reed Rancho Verde/Moreno Valley DE 6-4 215 Arizona

Saturday, January 28, 2006

"Fight Varsity"

I have gotten more than one email lately about "Fight Varsity" playing every time a page from the blog loads. Is this really bothersome? Or are there just a select few who have their panties in a bunch, and can't figure out how to turn the volume off? I can understand if your computer does not have a volume control/mute button, but really, all you have to do is hit the stop button your browser's toolbar to stop the loading. Vote at the top right of the page, or leave a comment and tell me what you think. I could always play some Kenny G instead.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Will Schenck Sway From His Verbal?

Robert Schenck has given Pat Hill a soft verbal, but the linebacker/defensive end still has one more visit before he makes a solid commitment.

"I gave them [Fresno State] a 'soft' verbal because I wanted to make sure I had a spot," Schenck said.

He also made a visit to Washington State recently, and Arizona might be still in the running but falling behind FS, WSU and Washington, where he will visit this weekend.

Schenck is looking for playing time, and is slotted to play middle linebacker or running back in college. Fresno State middle linebacker Dwayne Andrews will be a senior and his back up, Kyle Goodman graduated. Schenck could step right into the depth chart as a true freshman, and be a three year starter starting in 07.

He liked his trip to Washington State but one look at the depth chart and all you see is freshman and sophomores. UW may have shot at stealing Schenck because his cousin was a Huskie.

Hill and the Bulldogs seem to have the leg up on this under radar superstar. He measures 6 feet, 2 inches, weighs 235 pounds, runs the 40 in 4.54 seconds and the 100 in 10.6. He also benches 320 and squats an amazing 660 pounds.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


No it's not the Old Spice deodorant. Nor is it inside the 20 of a football field. It is the name of the new Fresno State student booster club. Finally, there is some continuity among the Bulldog student fanatics. I wish the REDZONE was around when I went to CSUF. They are starting to make their presence felt at the Save Mart Center with nearly 800 members. By Fall, those numbers could swell and really increase the already rowdy student section at Jim Sweeney Field.

Recruiting Update

The list of commitments is getting solid as recruiting season winds down. There is less than a week away before signing day, Feb 1. If all the verbal commitments sign then Fresno State will be two over their scholarship limit. However, these things tend to work themselves out. Either a couple of recruits will grayshirt or some lettermen may not return for fall. Robert Schenck could still spurn the 'Dogs and sign with Washington State or Arizona. There is also a rumor that Kenny Hedrington may not make grades. I expect Pat Hill to pull at least one rabbit out of his hat before Wednesday. Whether that is another diamond in the rough or a previous verbal that de-committed. This list also does not show any potential walk ons that Hill may have coming in for fall. Garret McIntyre, Bryson Sumlin, Emanuel Sanchez, and Matt Rivera were all walk ons that eventually earned scholarships.

regular text- verbal but not solid
italics-soft verbal
bold- solid verbal

Name Pos Ht Wt 40time Hometown (Stars)

  1. Lorne Bell LB 5-10 197 4.88 Simi Valley, CA (2)
  2. Anthony Harding RB 6-0 202 4.6 Turlock, CA (3)
  3. Kenny Hedrington RB 5-10 190 Fresno, CA (2)
  4. Nico Herron LB 6-2 222 4.9 San Leandro, CA (3)
  5. Andrew Jackson DE 6-5 237 5.24 Grass Valley, CA (3)
  6. Ben Jacobs LB 6-3 225 4.83 Las Vegas, NV (2)
  7. A.J. Jefferson CB 6-1 175 Bakersfield, CA (2)
  8. Robert Malone TE/DE/P 6-2 225 Riverside, CA (2)
  9. Lonyae Miller RB 5-11 205 4.5 Fontana, CA (3)
  10. Damion Owens DB 5-11 180 4.99 San Leandro, CA (3)
  11. Charlie Robbins OL 6-2 265 5.4 Fresno, CA (2)
  12. Mark Roberts DT 6-2 275 4.8 Modesto, CA (2)
  13. Robert Schenck LB 6-3 235 4.7 San Marcos, CA (3)
  14. Taylor Smith DE 6-2 224 4.84 Clovis, CA (3)
  15. Will Smith LB 6-3 215 Fresno, CA (2)
  16. Ken Wiggins OL 6-6 265 5.6 Elk Grove, CA (2)
  17. Barry Wilson WR 6-4 185 Tulare, CA (2)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

4 Star Bulldog, NOT!

Ricky Thenarse has committed to Nebraska, again. Even though his family wanted him to go to Fresno State, he stuck with his initial choice. Thenarse committed to Nebraska a couple of weeks ago, then retracted his commitment and said he would announce on ESPN his college choice January 25.

He made one last official visit to Colorado over the weekend, but it still was not enough to sway him. Supposedly, CU told Thenarse he could start immediately at corner, and even play some offense. It seemed CU had gained the edge since Nebraska was recruiting him strictly as a safety.

Bayou, ESPN and Death Valley: 'Dogs vs Tigers

Fresno State at LSU could become a reality in mid-October from Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA. LSU and ESPN are trying to work out the details. Two other possible teams fell through, Louisiana Tech and Middle Tennessee State. LSU needs ESPN to help kick in some money to pay the Bulldogs. LSU knows it must pay Fresno State more than the other two schools.

The Bulldogs needs to fill another out of conference game. They were looking at a possible home game against a Division I-AA or a road game at a BCS school on September 2. If Fresno State fills out the schedule with a game in October then the September 9 game at home Oregon will be the season opener. The last time Fresno State opened the season at home against a IA opponent was Jim Sweeney's last year as head coach, 1996, the opponent Oregon. Ironically, Oregon was the opponent when Fresno State dedicated Bulldog Stadium in 1981. 15 years later they came back for a game, and now 25 years later they return for anther huge season opener.

Fresno State has only played two other SEC schools, both on the road, at Auburn in 1996 and at Tennessee in 2003. LSU's Tiger Stadium is known as Death Valley, the Tigers are nearly unbeatable at home in night games. LSU is one of the few teams that wears white jerseys at home, thus Fresno State could wear their Bulldog Red.

Valley Players Ranked in Cali Top 100

Pat Hill has always stated recruiting the Valley is his first priority. Some of the Bulldog's top players from last year were from the Valley. Wendell Mathis (Merced), Bryson Sumlin (Bakersfield), Paul Williams (Avenal), Cole Popovich (Oakhurst) are just of few of the names that played their high school football in the Valley. Both of last year's Bulldog NFL draft picks were from the Valley, Logan Mankins (Cathys Valley) and James Sanders (Porterville).

This year's list of early commitments is no different, about half (8) of the verbals are from the Valley. But Hill has yet to land the top flight, blue chip Valley recruits. Most of the Valley's top players leave home to attend college. Whether it is the lore of playing in a Bowl Championship Series conference, higher standard of academics, or just to get away from home, many of the Valley's top players avoid Fresno State. However, there are those who leave only to come back. Mathis signed at UCLA, but came back home and walked on at Fresno State.

The class of 2006 has 6 Valley players listed among the top 100 in California according to Scout.com. Fresno State did not sign one of these 6, and only one of its verbals is listed in the top 100, No. 89 Lonyae Miller (Fontana). No. 49 Ricky Thenarse (Los Angeles) will give the Bulldogs their highest rated recruit if he commits to the Bulldogs later today on ESPNU. One notable omission on the Cali top 100 is Chris Lewis, but Scout.com lists Lewis as No. 35 rated recruit in the West. Huh? My guess is that the West list has been updated recently, while the Cali list has not.

Valley Players listed in Scout.com's California Top 100

No. 11 David Ausberry WR Lemoore 6'4 215- Ausberry never considered Fresno State. He committed to USC over Ohio State and Georgia. Ausberry is exactly the blue chip Hill and many Bulldog fans hope will choose Fresno State over the BCS schools in the near future. Ausberry has been rated as high as the 3rd best receiver in the nation. If he had committed to the Bulldogs maybe a couple of other blue chips would have followed suit. It is hard for the have nots of college football (non-BCS schools) to compete with the USCs of the world.

No. 15 Tracy Slocum RB Clovis (East) 5'10 215- Slocum had Cal and UCLA on top of his list from the get go. Although, he listed Fresno State among his top 5, he had no interest in the Bulldogs unless he was unable to gain admission to Cal or UCLA. He committed to Cal, and his comment about Hill possibly leaving for the NFL effecting his decision was pure bullshit. I maybe being a little harsh, but that comment is a cop out if I've ever heard one.

No. 19 Levirt Griffin DE Modesto 6'4 235- Griffen was an untouchable commodity. Not only was he a spectacular player, but tore it up in the classroom. He sports a 4.0 GPA. 24 ACT, 1670 SAT-new version-no retests. His final two schools were Cal and Stanford. No surprise he chose Stanford. There is no doubt Hill would have loved to have Griffin. Hill was able to get a verbal from Griffen's teammate DT Mark Roberts. Griffen is just one of the few high school players that still cares about academics more than football.

No. 31 Anthony McCoy TE Fresno (Bullard) 6'4 220- McCoy had Fresno State listed among his top five choices, but USC was his top choice all along. As soon as the Trojans offered he committed. McCoy would have been a huge coup for Hill. If USC didn't offer there would have been a good chance McCoy could have joined teammate Kenny Hedrington as a Bulldog.

No. 42 Walter Watts OL Los Banos 6'4 290- Watts committed to UCLA in February of 2005, so many schools backed off his senior year. Watts broke his fibula in his first game and missed the entire season. Early this month he de-committed from UCLA and the recruiting frenzy began again. The reason for de-committing from UCLA was because he did not want to be distracted by his many family members in Los Angeles. If that is true then Fresno State probably never had a shot because of its close proximity to Los Banos. He gave Utah a verbal this week, the same school his father went to.

No. 51 Justin Prueitt OL Clovis (Buchanan) 6'5 275- Prueitt was a guy on top of Hill's list but Prueitt committed to Cal in June of 2005. Hill still offered but Prueitt will be a Bear. Prueitt is the prototypical Hill recruit. Hill has been able to land the 2 star Clovis area recruits, but seems to lose out to the Pac 10 for the 3 and 4 star guys.

No. 83 Michael Turner CB Manteca 5'11 160- Turner was another guy high on Hill's list but lost out to the aggressive Mike Stoops at Arizona. Stoops is bringing in one of the best classes in the Pac 10 this year. Turner had Arizona and Fresno State has his two favorites, but was expecting bigger schools to jump into the frenzy, most notably USC, UCLA and Miami. USC finally did offer, but Stoops and Arizona had already won the derby.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Recruiting Update: 1 Week to Signing Day

Ricky Thenarse will make his announcement tomorrow at halftime of his basketball game on ESPNU. Colorado looks like his choice from his recent statement after his visit this past weekend. Thenarse originally committed to Nebraska, but has retracted that verbal and named three finalist, NU, CU, and Fresno State. New Buffs head coach, former Boise State HC, Dan Hawkins looks to have won the battle for the services of the talent athlete from Jordan HS in Los Angeles. CU has told him that he could play as a true freshman at either WR or DB.

If he came to Fresno State, more than likely he would be asked to redshirt. Wide receiver is the deepest and strongest position for the Bulldog offense next year. Thenarse could play safety, where Fresno State deeply needs the help, but almost every high school player dreams of playing a skill position. Unlike some coaches Pat Hill is straight forward and will tell a recruit how the water runs in his program. He will not promise a recruit the world and then bench him when he doesn't perform well. Hill tells his recruits they will start at the bottom like everyone else and have to earn their playing time.

In other recruiting news former Fresno State strong safety Micheal Stewart's son, Andru Stewart(at left) is hoping to become a Bulldog. Stewart has no offers at the moment and signing day in just a week away. Tennessee and Cal have showed some interest in Stewart but not enough to offer yet. My guess is he is on Fresno State's wait and see list. If Thenarse signs with CU or NU then Stewart could get an offer at the last minute by Fresno State. Hill still has the chance to pull a few rabbits out of his hat, but the class looks just about done. I have eliminated Hamler from the list, as all signs point to him signing at Oregon. Lewis is off the still deciding list, as his verbal to Miami is pretty solid.

The all-important legend:
regular text- verbal but not solid
italics-soft verbal
bold- solid verbal

Name Pos Ht Wt 40time Hometown (Stars)

  1. Lorne Bell LB 5-10 197 4.88 Simi Valley, CA (2)
  2. Anthony Harding RB 6-0 202 4.6 Turlock, CA (3)
  3. Kenny Hedrington RB 5-10 190 Fresno, CA (2)
  4. Nico Herron LB 6-2 222 4.9 San Leandro, CA (3)
  5. Andrew Jackson DE 6-5 237 5.24 Grass Valley, CA (3)
  6. Ben Jacobs LB 6-3 225 4.83 Las Vegas, NV (2)
  7. A.J. Jefferson CB 6-1 175 Bakersfield, CA (2)
  8. Robert Malone TE/DE/P 6-2 225 Riverside, CA (2)
  9. Lonyae Miller RB 5-11 205 4.5 Fontana, CA (3)
  10. Damion Owens DB 5-11 180 4.99 San Leandro, CA (3)
  11. Charlie Robbins OL 6-2 265 5.4 Fresno, CA (2)
  12. Mark Roberts DT 6-2 275 4.8 Modesto, CA (2)
  13. Robert Schenck LB 6-3 235 4.7 San Marcos, CA (3)
  14. Taylor Smith DE 6-2 224 4.84 Clovis, CA (3)
  15. Will Smith LB 6-3 215 Fresno, CA (2)
  16. Ken Wiggins OL 6-6 265 5.6 Elk Grove, CA (2)
  17. Barry Wilson WR 6-4 185 Tulare, CA (2)

still decding....

Ricky Thenarse Ath 6-0 175 4.48 Los Angelese, CA (4) will choose from FS,Colo, Neb on 1/25 on ESPNU

A Good Person...

Is how his former quarterbacks from the NFL describe Fresno State's new offensive coordinator Steve Hagen.

"I believe first and foremost that Fresno State hired a first-class person in Steve Hagen." -Jeff Garcia Detroit Lions quarterback

"As a person, you couldn't find anyone better. He's a man of outstanding character. He's good to talk to. As a player you can go and talk to him and talk about your problems and he would listen and I knew there was nothing false about him." -Kelly Holcomb Buffalo Bills quarterback

Its official Pat Hill made the announcement earlier today. As I stated in the earlier post Hagen has had some great years as a college offensive coordinator, but has some terrible ones too. I just can't get over how Garcia and Holcomb described their former position coach. I know later on in their quotes they mention his coaching abilities, but their openings remind me how someone would describe an ugly woman, "She has a good personality."

Ugly can be very scary!

Steve Hagen: New Offensive Coordinator

The announcement will come later on today when Pat Hill makes the hiring of Steve Hagen official, but according to Channel 47 all sources point to Hagen being named the next Bulldog offensive coordinator. Hagen last stint was as the quarterback coach for the Cleveland Browns from 2001-04. He was fired after the '04 season along with much of Butch Davis' staff after Davis was fired during mid-season.

Hagen began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Illinois and Kansas before landing his first full-time assignment at Northern Arizona where he was the WR/TE coach from 1987-88. He then joined Lou Holtz's Notre Dame staff as a graduate assistant for two seasons('89-'90).

Hagen has been an offensive coordinator at numerous West Coast schools: Nevada, UNLV, San Jose State and Cal. He spent one year as quarterback coach at Kent State in '91, but became the offensive coordinator and QB coach for Nevada under Chris Ault in 1992 and '93. His '92 Wolf Pack offense led the nation in total offense (569.1 ypg) and passing offense (397.5 ypg).

However, that was Hagen's high point of his career. It has been less than stellar since. In 1996 he was the head coach at Division III Wartburg College in Iowa. He resigned after one year to become the QB coach/offensive coordinator under Dave Baldwin at San Jose State. His offenses ranked in the bottom half of the NCAA, unlike his high-flying days at Nevada and UNLV. His 1997 offense averaged 339.82 ypg, the 1998 offense averaged 335 ypg. After his departure, the 1999 offense jumped up to 368.40 ypg. He left SJSU after 98 to become Cal's OC.

His offenses slipped even further. An argument can be made that the Cal situation was not the best. Due to injuries and depth, the Bears had to start and rely on two true freshman for their offense, tailback Joe Igber and QB Kyle Boller. Although, they were true freshman both were very highly touted coming out of high school. The 1999 Cal offense under Hagen averaged an abysmal 250.82 ypg. That was less than half of what his 1992 Nevada offense averaged. His second year at Cal saw some improvement but not much. With a year of experience from Boller and Igber much was expected from the 2000 Bear offense. Hagen's offense that year averaged a very disappointing 317.45 ypg game. Hagen left for the NFL's Browns after the 2000 season.

Hill is very good at finding the right coaches for his program, but was Hagen his first choice? Based on Hagen's, 44, coaching history he does not stay at one place to long. Will Fresno State just be a spring board for something bigger? I personally didn't care for Hill's hiring of Andy Ludwig in 1998 after Jeff Tedford left for Oregon. Ludwig's offense relied to much on the dink and dunk basketball on grass quick passes and jailbreak screens. I was also not a fan of the two WR pattern on obvious passing downs. Ludwig left for Oregon after 01 and was let go by the Ducks three years later for having a lacking offensive scheme.

I was not a big fan of Frank Cignetti's offense either, but it is hard to tell how good his scheme was. Ludwig had the luxury of working with Billy Volek and David Carr. Cignetti had Jeff Grady and Paul Pinegar. Still Cignetti's offense lacked imagination. When the running game was working the offense moved the ball and scored, but that is true for most offensive schemes. What I did not like about Cignetti's offense was the constant run on first down or third-and-short. As well, the halfback screen was over used in passing situations.

An argument can be made that Hagen has not had the talent to succeed since his days at Nevada and UNLV. But he did have talent at Cal, although it was very young and inexperienced. At Fresno State he will get the best of both worlds. The Bulldogs have the talent level of the bottom half of the Pac 10 schools, and the schedule is similar to that of Nevada and UNLV in the early 90s. Will Hill let Hagen open up the passing game like he did for the Wolfpack? Of will Hagen be forced to run a ground oriented attack? I favored the ground attack with Pinegar as the quarterback because I believed Pinegar could not win a game with his arm alone. However, in 2001 David Carr could, but Carr lacked a power running game to compliment his arm.

If defensive coordinator Dan Brown does not shore up his defense this year, it does not matter what type of offense Hagen runs. The Bulldogs could be playing catch-up all year against the better teams on its schedule. Hagen is an interesting hire, and I can't wait for the spring game to see any new wrinkles in the scheme. I do not know why I am getting my hopes up, its has always been Pat Hill's way, right? Run, run, pass, punt!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Recruiting Update

First and foremost, Clovis West defensive end Chris Lewis has verbally committed to Miami. Who can blame the guy? South Beach, 5 national titles, the ACC, and come on it is the 'Canes! Fresno State did pick up one other verbal, A.J. Jefferson from Bakersfield's West High. Jefferson is a good size CB/WR. He is slated to play cornerback at the next level and is best known for containing fellow Bulldog recruit Barry Wilson in the Valley championship one-on-one with no help from the safety. Does Jefferson's signing mean that Thenarse will probably not be a Bulldog? Channel 47 only lists 13 verbals for Fresno State the names on the list below minus, Bell, Hamler, Hedrington, Schenck, and Smith. Their sources are probably better than mine, but I list 18 with Hamler the only for sure one with another verbal to a different school thus far.

Name Pos Ht Wt 40time Hometown (source)

  1. Lorne Bell LB 5-10 197 4.88 Simi Valley, CA (barkboard)
  2. Jamel Hamler WR 6-1 185 4.6 San Leandro, CA (rivals.com) verbal to UO
  3. Anthony Harding RB 6-0 202 4.6 Turlock, CA (rivals.com)
  4. Kenny Hedrington RB 5-10 190 Fresno, CA (barkboard)
  5. Nico Herron LB 6-2 222 4.9 San Leandro, CA (rivals.com)
  6. Andrew Jackson DE 6-5 237 5.24 Grass Valley, CA (rivals.com)
  7. Ben Jacobs LB 6-3 225 4.83 Las Vegas, NV (barkboard/channel 47)
  8. A.J. Jefferson CB 6-1 175 Bakersfield, CA (channel 47)
  9. Robert Malone TE/DE/P 6-2 225 Riverside, CA (per confidential source)
  10. Lonyae Miller RB 5-11 205 4.5 Fontana, CA (rivals.com/scout.com)
  11. Damion Owens DB 5-11 180 4.99 San Leandro, CA (rivals.com)
  12. Charlie Robbins OL 6-2 265 5.4 Fresno, CA (rivals.com)
  13. Mark Roberts DT 6-2 275 4.8 Modesto, CA (fresno bee)
  14. Robert Schenck LB 6-3 235 4.7 San Marcos, CA (barkboard) soft verbal deciding between FS/WSU
  15. Taylor Smith DE 6-2 224 4.84 Clovis, CA (rivals.com
  16. Will Smith LB 6-3 215 Fresno, CA (fresno bee)
  17. Ken Wiggins OL 6-6 265 5.6 Elk Grove, CA (rivals.com)
  18. Barry Wilson WR 6-4 185 Tulare, CA (fresno bee)

still decding....

Chris Lewis DE 6-2 235 4.7 Fresno, CA verbal to Miami

Ricky Thenarse Ath 6-0 175 4.48 Los Angelese, CA soft verbal to Neb, deciding between FS,Colo, Neb on 1/25 on ESPN

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Robert Schenck 6' 2 235 lb

Schenck is the type of linebacker/athlete that normally would find himself being coveted by the big boys, which he is, but Fresno State's tops his list of schools. Washington State is a close second, followed by Arizona and Boston College is a distant third. At his current height and weight he is listed with a 4.7 40 time per rivals.com. As a 205 lb junior he ran a 10.6 100 yard dash. At the Fresno State prospect camp last summer, he measured 6' 13/4 221 lbs, he ran a 4.54 40 on a slow grass field. Schenck could become a great running back, defensive end or linebacker at the next level. Linebacker is more than likely his position if he becomes a Bulldog. He could make the move to defensive end like Ricky Miller, even though he is a bit shorter.

Schenck could help out at linebacker immediately, but if Pat Hill redshirts him then I expect him to be moved to DE. After year in the program, he could well near 250 lbs and maybe even grow an inch taller. Schenck is also listed as 3 star recruit and the nation's 60th best linebacker by rivals. Hill is on pace to have his best class ever, even topping the famed 2002 class. The 2002 class had two 4 star athletes, Vincent Mays and Ricky Miller, and a hoard of 3 star guys, including Jordan Christensen and Robbie Dubois who were listed 3 stars by scout.com. Ironically, the two best players out of the 2002 class were not even 4 or 3 star guys. Richard Marshall was a 2 star cornerback, but was still widely considered a top 100 CB in the nation. The other was just a walk-on linebacker, Garrett McIntyre. Schenck stats:

Season Totals: 79 tkls 10 tfl 2 sacks 3 caused fum 2 ints 2 ints for tds

Recruiting Update: All-Everything Punter Commits to 'Dogs

Fresno State might have not landed US Army All-American punter Kyle Peterson, but Pat Hill might have added another diamond in the rough. Robert Malone, out of King High School in Riverside, Ca, played TE/DE/P. Per the source, Robert is very excited to be a Bulldog. Punter Mike Lingua is in his last year, and I assume Malone will pick up where he left off as a redshirt freshman in 2007. Hill has done it again. Hill continues to find the best players that fit his program. At 6-2 225 Malone is a good size athlete and in his senior year he recovered a fumble, blocked a punt, returned 2 kickoffs, recorded 4.5 sacks, and caught 6 tds. He averaged 39.18 yards per punt with a long of 59. As most Bulldog fans know SP Teams coach John Baxter is not into distance but hang time. Malone, as well, will not be afraid to hit anyone in his way on punt coverage, the kid played defensive end and had 13 tackles on the year. Malone's stats:


Season Totals: 20 rec 471 yards 23.55 ypc 50 lng 6 tds 42.8 ypg

9/2/2005 Palm Springs L 7-28 1 rec 34 yds
9/9/2005 Ramona L 17-20 2 rec 43 yds
9/16/2005 Paloma Valley L 25-27 1 rec 50 yds
9/22/2005 Corona L 14-47 2 rec 33 yds
9/30/2005 West Valley W 35-27 5 rec 92 yds
10/14/2005 Poly W 37-22 2 rec 52 yds
10/21/2005 La Sierra W 48-47 1 rec 29 yds
10/28/2005 North W 28-14 2 rec 39 yds
11/11/2005 Arlington W 43-0 3 rec 91 yds
11/18/2005 Centennial L 41-53 1 rec 8 yds


Season Totals: 12 tkl 1 assists 13 total 1.2 tpg 4.5 sacks 27 yds lost .5 spg 1 fum rec 1 punt blk

Special Teams

Season Totals: 38 punts 1489 yds 59 long 6 inside 20 39.19 ypp

Season Totals: 2 kick ret 22 yds 11.00 ypr 23 lng

Name Pos Ht Wt 40time Hometown (source)

  1. Lorne Bell LB 5-10 197 4.88 Simi Valley, CA (barkboard)
  2. Jamel Hamler WR 6-1 185 4.6 San Leandro, CA (rivals.com) verbal to UO
  3. Anthony Harding RB 6-0 202 4.6 Turlock, CA (rivals.com)
  4. Kenny Hedrington RB 5-10 190 Fresno, CA (barkboard)
  5. Nico Herron LB 6-2 222 4.9 San Leandro, CA (rivals.com)
  6. Andrew Jackson DE 6-5 237 5.24 Grass Valley, CA (rivals.com)
  7. Ben Jacobs LB 6-3 225 4.83 Las Vegas, NV (barkboard/channel 47)
  8. Robert Malone TE/DE/P 6-2 225 Riverside, CA (per confidential source)
  9. Lonyae Miller RB 5-11 205 4.5 Fontana, CA (rivals.com/scout.com)
  10. Damion Owens DB 5-11 180 4.99 San Leandro, CA (rivals.com)
  11. Charlie Robbins OL 6-2 265 5.4 Fresno, CA (rivals.com)
  12. Mark Roberts DT 6-2 275 4.8 Modesto, CA (fresno bee)
  13. Robert Schenck LB 6-3 235 4.7 San Marcos, CA (barkboard) soft verbal deciding between FS/WSU
  14. Taylor Smith DE 6-2 224 4.84 Clovis, CA (rivals.com
  15. Will Smith LB 6-3 215 Fresno, CA (fresno bee)
  16. Ken Wiggins OL 6-6 265 5.6 Elk Grove, CA (rivals.com)
  17. Barry Wilson WR 6-4 185 Tulare, CA (fresno bee)

still decding....

Chris Lewis DE 6-2 235 4.7 Fresno, CA deciding between FS, Miami FLA, ASU, UO

Ricky Thenarse Ath 6-0 175 4.48 Los Angelese, CA soft verbal to Neb, deciding between FS,Colo, Neb on 1/25 on ESPN

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Barry Wilson 6'4 185 lb

Wilson could become the best recruit in the 2006 class, despite not having all the national accolades of others. He led the state in receiving yards, and posses the size that major programs covet. Fresno State's top three returning receivers(Williams, Fernandez, and Fairman) are all seniors and sophomore Kevin Ciccone is the only other returning receiver to have caught a ball, 1 for 6 yards.

Promising redshirts should contribute in the fall, 6-1 195 Chastin West and 6-3 190 Seyi Ajirotutu. Wilson could become the teams 5th or 6th receiver as a true freshman. He is easily the team's tallest receiver and could pose difficult assignments for any opposing cornerback. He would have to compete against the two mentioned above, as well as, 6-2 170 rFr Jason Crawley for a spot on the fall depth chart.

The future looks "tall" for the Bulldog receiving corps.

Season Totals: 84 rec 1810 yards 21.55 ypc 26 tds 139.2 ypg

Game by Game

9/9/2005 Golden West W 44-13 9 rec 208 yards
9/16/2005 Lemoore W 49-42 10 rec 232 yards
9/23/2005 Mt. Whitney W 42-21 2 rec 57 yards
9/30/2005 Chavez W 20-17 6 rec 101 yards
10/7/2005 Granite Hills W 69-10 6 rec 146 yards
10/14/2005 Redwood W 49-13 7 rec 148 yards
10/21/2005 Porterville W 49-21 9 rec 223 yards
10/28/2005 Delano W 49-6 5 rec 129 yards
11/4/2005 Monache W 39-28 5 rec 54 yards
11/10/2005 Tulare Western W 39-27 3 rec 45 yards
11/25/2005 Hanford W 42-27 10 rec 267 yards
12/2/2005 Ridgeview W 56-21 4 rec 97 yards
12/9/2005 West L 28-53 8 rec 103 yards

Updated Verbal List

The Fresno Bee says the Bulldogs have 15 scholarships to offer, and also mention one other verbal I did not have on the list, Mark Roberts. So if Chris Lewis(at left) and Ricky Thenarse did choose the Bulldogs that would make 18 recruits and only 15 scholarships. Well we know that one, Hamler, has changed his mind to Oregon, and another, Hedrington, may not make grades. That would leave the 'Dogs one over, if those two pan out the way I said. Maybe Thenarse doesn't choose the Dogs, which is highly likely since he has a soft verbal to Nebraska. Schenck has given FS a soft verbal, but has somewhat retracted his verbal and lists Washington State even with the 'Dogs. My guess is the current list posted (16 verbals), minus Hamler and Hedrington would make it 14 just one spot left for Lewis. But there is always the possibility for Hill to grayshirt some recruits, which could be the case if 4 star Thenarse wants to become a Bulldog instead of a Big 12 Cornhusker.

Name Pos Ht Wt 40time Hometown (source)

  1. Lorne Bell LB 5-10 197 4.88 Simi Valley, CA (barkboard)
  2. Jamel Hamler WR 6-1 185 4.6 San Leandro, CA (rivals.com) verbal to UO
  3. Anthony Harding RB 6-0 202 4.6 Turlock, CA (rivals.com)
  4. Kenny Hedrington RB 5-10 190 Fresno, CA (barkboard)
  5. Nico Herron LB 6-2 222 4.9 San Leandro, CA (rivals.com)
  6. Andrew Jackson DE 6-5 237 5.24 Grass Valley, CA (rivals.com)
  7. Ben Jacobs LB 6-3 225 4.83 Las Vegas, NV (barkboard/channel 47)
  8. Lonyae Miller RB 5-11 205 4.5 Fontana, CA (rivals.com/scout.com)
  9. Damion Owens DB 5-11 180 4.99 San Leandro, CA (rivals.com)
  10. Charlie Robbins OL 6-2 265 5.4 Fresno, CA (rivals.com)
  11. Mark Roberts DT 6-2 275 4.8 Modesto, CA (fresno bee)
  12. Robert Schenck LB 6-3 235 4.7 San Marcos, CA (barkboard) soft verbal deciding between FS/WSU)

  13. Taylor Smith DE 6-2 224 4.84 Clovis, CA (rivals.com
  14. Will Smith LB 6-3 215 Fresno, CA (fresno bee)
  15. Ken Wiggins OL 6-6 265 5.6 Elk Grove, CA (rivals.com)
  16. Barry Wilson WR 6-4 185 Tulare, CA (fresno bee)

still decding....

Chris Lewis DE 6-2 235 4.7 Fresno, CA deciding between FS, Miami FLA, ASU, UO

Ricky Thenarse Ath 6-0 175 4.48 Los Angelese, CA soft verbal to Neb, deciding between FS,Colo, Neb on 1/25 on ESPN

Ricky Thenarse

Friday, January 20, 2006

Recruiting Update

Rivals.com has updated and reevaluated Fresno State's recruiting class. Of the 8 verbals listed by Rivals, 6 are 3 star athletes. The last two Bulldog recruiting classes had only one 3 star recruit between them, OL Richard Pacheco in 2005. The 2006 class is starting to look like Hill's best ever. If the Dogs can sign Clovis West DE Chris Lewis, along with 4 star Athlete Ricky Thenarse it will give Fresno State a solid top 40-60 class.

"It is between Colorado, Nebraska and Fresno State right now," Thenarse explained.

"I still plan on making my decision on ESPN on the 25th."

Meanwhile DE/LB recruit Robert Schenck might be waning from his soft verbal to the Bulldogs. The 6-2 235 lb from San Marcos is deciding between FS and Washington State, Boston College is a distant third. About Schenck:

A physical player with a boatload of speed. At 205 pounds as a junior, clocked a 10.6 in the 100 yard dashNow at 235 pounds, "He's a legit 4.4 40 guy," says Mission Hills High coach Chris Hauser. Schenck gave a soft verbal commitment to Fresno State on his visit Jan. 4 but now says he's rethinking that pledge. 'Academics and then a coaching staff that's going to stay there is (important)," said Schenck. The prospect built like Zeus says Washington State, FSU, Arizona are now all even. Boston College has also offered but might be too far away. He played linebacker last season but could end up at defensive end, 'backer or even running back at the next level and WSU likes him at all three according to Hauser. On his senior season defensively, he racked up 79 tackles with 10 of them for loss and two quarterback sacks, plus three caused fumbles and three interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. -scout.com

If Schenck is a legit 4.4 guy, how it the hell did USC and UCLA not recruit this kid. He would make monster tailback or an even better fullback in the right offense. (wonder if the offense will change under new OC?) But he will probably end up at defensive end or linebacker.

Name Pos Ht Wt 40time Hometown (source)

  1. Lorne Bell LB 5-10 197 4.88 Simi Valley, CA (barkboard)
  2. Jamel Hamler WR 6-1 185 4.6 San Leandro, CA (rivals.com) verbal to UO
  3. Anthony Harding RB 6-0 202 4.6 Turlock, CA (rivals.com)
  4. Kenny Hedrington RB 5-10 190 Fresno, CA (barkboard)
  5. Nico Herron LB 6-2 222 4.9 San Leandro, CA (rivals.com)
  6. Andrew Jackson DE 6-5 237 5.24 Grass Valley, CA (rivals.com)
  7. Ben Jacobs LB 6-3 225 4.83 Las Vegas, NV (barkboard/channel 47)
  8. Lonyae Miller RB 5-11 205 4.5 Fontana, CA (rivals.com/scout.com)
  9. Damion Owens DB 5-11 180 4.99 San Leandro, CA (rivals.com)
  10. Charlie Robbins OL 6-2 265 5.4 Fresno, CA (rivals.com)
  11. Robert Schenck LB 6-3 235 4.7 San Marcos, CA (barkboard) soft verbal deciding between FS/WSU
  12. Taylor Smith DE 6-2 224 4.84 Clovis, CA (rivals.com)
  13. Will Smith LB 6-3 215 Fresno, CA (fresno bee)
  14. Ken Wiggins OL 6-6 265 5.6 Elk Grove, CA (rivals.com)
  15. Barry Wilson WR 6-4 185 Tulare, CA (fresno bee)

still decding....

Chris Lewis DE 6-2 235 4.7 Fresno, CA deciding between FS, Miami FLA, ASU, UO

Ricky Thenarse Ath 6-0 175 4.48 Los Angelese, CA soft verbal to Neb, deciding between FS,Colo, Neb on 1/25 on ESPN

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Was It a Ploy...? Who Cares, He's Staying!

In his press conference this morning, Pat Hill said he would stay on as head coach of Fresno State. Athletic Director Thomas Boeh also announced a contract extension for Hill until 2010. Did Hill want to stay in Fresno the entire time, but was just looking for an extension? Hill is beloved by Bulldog fans, but many have become disgruntled with his inability to win an outright WAC title. Did Boeh sit down with Hill after the Liberty Bowl loss and discuss how important a conference title is? Did Hill tell him the program is still going in the right direction? Did Boeh put some pressure on Hill to win a WAC title in 06 or else? Did Hill call him on it and began looking at the potential NFL offers? Who knows, or who cares? Hill be around for at least one more season, and hopefully in his 10th year everything will come together.

First things first, Hill needs to solidify his recruits, pick up the few on the fence, and maybe steal one or two from the big boys. LOI day in February 1, and spring practice is just around the corner. The football opener has yet to be finalized. There is an open date on September 2. Virginia Tech ended talks of a game, and Iowa, LSU and Georgia seemed to have all filled their open dates. A game against a IAA California school could be possible, maybe Sacramento State. If the September 2 date is not filled then the September 9 game against Oregon will be the home opener. 25 years ago Fresno State dedicated newly built Bulldog Stadium with a win over the Ducks.

06 WAC title or bust.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Gain a Verbal, Losing a Verbal, but Hill Will Stay!

Bullard tailback Kenny Hedrington has verbally committed to Fresno State. The 5-10 190 tailback makes a total of 15 verbals, but one is faltering. San Leandro receiver Jamal Hamler is wavering on his early oral commitment to the Bulldogs.

Hamler has given a solid verbal to Oregon according to Rivals.com. Can you blame the guy? You are a two star recruit, hardly noticed by any Pac 10 schools so you commit with your two high school teammates to the best school in the West (Fresno State) that is not in the Pac 10. Then after you have a decent senior year, Oregon comes calling and offers you a full-ride, what would you do? If you have integrity and stay true to your word, you would stay at Fresno State. But most 18 year-olds don't see it that way. They see the lightning yellow Duck uniforms, 56,000 seat Autzen Zoo, 6 plasma screen TVs in the locker room, and most importantly, the Pac 10.

However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel, Pat Hill is all but certain to announce that he will continue to be the head coach at Fresno State. A press conference is scheduled at 10 am tomorrow to announce his decision to stay a Bulldog, unless Al Davis comes calling in the wee hours of the night.

Deadline Ends Today

NFL or Bulldog?

from the Fresno Bee:

"I understand that giving a deadline limited some opportunities with some teams," Hill said. "Different teams have different timelines. I understand that. If something doesn't happen tonight, I plan on being here a long time, building this program to where it should be."

Will Pat Hill be offered an NFL job this evening? Does he have a secret interview scheduled for today? Will he announce tomorrow that he will be leaving the program to be an assistant coach in New England? The Patriots lost their defensive coordinator to the Jets, does Hill jump sides to become the new DC in N.E.? By his statements to the Bee, looks like Hill will make his final decision tomorrow.

What about next year? Reading the last sentence in his quote, it seems Hill will not explore any other NFL opportunities anytime soon. If NFL interest was high this year despite a season-ending 4 game losing streak, what will happen when he finally puts it together and the 'Dogs run the table or at least win a WAC title? Hill has taken the long, hard road to build his legacy at Fresno State, and hopefully he will finish the job he started before he ventures away to the NFL.

Will He Stay or Will He Go?

There was never really any indication when Pat Hill's 10 day window of opportunity for the NFL ever started. The San Francisco Chronicle is speculating that the window started on January 8, the day the Houston Texans officially contacted Hill. That makes sense since Hill's first team meeting with his players is scheduled for January 18. This window may have eliminated Hill from coaching the Raiders and will likely keep him at Fresno State.

Hill has yet to have scheduled a formal interview with the Raiders and appears ready to assume his coaching duties for the Bulldogs. However, Oakland can still contact Hill before the 18th and could continue negotiations. This is where it gets tricky. Hill's window will probably end before Al Davis finds his next coach, but with Davis' top candidate headed to New York, Hill is likely the next candidate on his list. Even though Hill will continue on with recruiting and preparations for spring practice, Davis can still offer him the job after the 10 day window expires. If that happens will Hill stay or will he go?

Recruits are already wavering, and many Bulldog fans are uneasy with the whole NFL thing. Hill needs to cement his relationship with the community, his team, and the University. He tested the waters, got the attention of the community and hopefully it will rejuvenate the stagnate stadium expansion and renovation plans. From my sources and insight, I expect Hill to announce on the 18th that he will stay at Fresno State and will be committed for the long haul.

Take it for what it is worth. I would not be surprised if he did an about face, if Davis offered him the job in Oakland for double or triple his current salary. Only a select few get a chance to coach in the NFL, how could one pass it up? I would hate to be in Hill's shoes.

Friday, January 13, 2006

No More Beer?

Fresno State will follow suit of the rest of the California State University system by banning alcohol sales at all future athletic events. All 23 of the CSU schools started the ban back on December 23, and it also limits the advertising of alcohol. The ban will not take effect until the current contract with vendors expires in 2007-08, but it may start sooner. For football, that will mean at least two more seasons of alcohol. The Save Mart Center will continue selling alcohol since it is not run by the University.
A Bulldog Tradition

Is banning the sale of alcohol so bad? Many say will hurt attendance, but what about the many that stay away from Bulldog Stadium or other venues because the sale of alcohol. The athletic budget is already in the red, losing an estimated $138,000 of revenue from alcohol sales does not help. This really hurts one sport the most, football. No other sport has tailgate parties prior to the start of the game, which will not be affected by the ban. Some fans rather stay at the tailgate and drink then enter the game. If alcohol is not sold inside the stadium many more may choose to stay at the tailgate. Others will think of creative ways to sneak in alcohol or just come to the game drunk.

In my opinion, I don't see it as such a bad thing. Maybe because I like to actually watch the game. If I am buzzing I can't follow the game as well, so I don't drink. I will have a beer or two if someone is buying but I'm not going to the game to get drunk. I can do that after the game, where the beer isn't watered down and doesn't cost $7 a pop.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Recruiting Update: 14 Verbals

Committed/Not Yet Signed Fresno State Recruits To Date
*updated 3 more verbals now listed*

Lonyae Miller

Name Pos Ht Wt 40time Hometown (source)

  1. Lorne Bell LB 5-10 197 4.88 Simi Valley, CA (barkboard)
  2. Jamel Hamler WR 6-1 185 4.6 San Leandro, CA (rivals.com) verbal to UO
  3. Anthony Harding RB 6-0 202 4.6 Turlock, CA (rivals.com)
  4. Nico Herron LB 6-2 222 4.9 San Leandro, CA (rivals.com)
  5. Andrew Jackson DE 6-5 237 5.24 Grass Valley, CA (rivals.com)
  6. Ben Jacobs LB 6-3 225 4.83 Las Vegas, NV (barkboard/channel 47)
  7. Lonyae Miller RB 5-11 205 4.5 Fontana, CA (rivals.com/scout.com)
  8. Damion Owens DB 5-11 180 4.99 - San Leandro, CA (rivals.com)
  9. Charlie Robbins OL 6-2 265 5.4 Fresno, CA (rivals.com)
  10. Robert Schenck LB 6-3 235 4.7 San Marcos, CA (barkboard) deciding between FS/WSU
  11. Taylor Smith DE 6-2 224 4.84 Clovis, CA (rivals.com)
  12. Will Smith LB 6-3 215 Fresno, CA (fresno bee)
  13. Ken Wiggins OL 6-6 265 5.6 Elk Grove, CA (rivals.com)
  14. Barry Wilson WR 6-4 185 Tulare, CA (fresno bee)

These are the 14 players that have verbally committed to Fresno State based on the sources that I have used. Fresno State supposedly has only 14 scholarships available according to a article in the Fresno Bee. However, the Bee reports today that only 11 players have orally committed to the Bulldogs. Huh? It is hard to know if all the recruits I listed are correct or if the Bee is misinformed. If correct Fresno State has certainly tried to improve their linebacking corps. Of the 14 verbals, 5 are linebackers(Bell pictured above). Miller is still the stud of the class, and could play as a true.

Richard Marshall's early departure for the NFL frees up another scholarship, I presume. All-American punter Kyle Peterson and Clovis East DE Chris Lewis are top players that are still seriously considering Fresno State, as is WR/DB James Dockery despite his soft verbal to Oregon State.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Hill Issues Statement about NFL Openings

Well everyone Hill has finally spoken, and it should please just about everyone. A quote from his press conference:

"I have a great job and great respect for Fresno State, Dr. John Welty, Athletics Director Thomas Boeh and, most importantly, the players and coaches. Because of that, I have told the NFL teams I've spoken with that they have a 10-day window in which to interview me for their head coaching position. That time frame was well thought out and will close in time for the Fresno State football program to move forward with both recruiting and team preparations for the 2006 season. Because that window does not meet the schedules of some of the NFL teams, I will not be interviewing with every team that has expressed an interest in me. There are, however, some teams that I have spoken with and will continue to have discussions with until that window closes. That window will not be extended, however, and if that means it will remove me from consideration for a head coaching position in the NFL, then so be it."

Recruiting Update: 11 Verbals

Committed/Not Yet Signed Fresno State Recruits To Date

Name Pos Ht Wt 40time Hometown (source)

  1. Jamel Hamler WR 6-1 185 4.6 San Leando, CA (rivals.com)
  2. Anthony Harding RB 6-0 202 4.6 Turlock, CA (rivals.com)
  3. Nico Herron LB 6-2 222 4.9 San Leandro, CA (rivals.com)
  4. Andrew Jackson DE 6-5 237 5.24 Grass Valley, CA (rivals.com)
  5. Lonyae Miller RB 5-11 205 4.5 Fontana, CA (rivals.com/scout.com)
  6. Damion Owens DB 5-11 180 4.99 - San Leandro, CA (rivals.com)
  7. Charlie Robbins OL 6-2 265 5.4 Fresno, CA (rivals.com)
  8. Taylor Smith DE 6-2 224 4.84 Clovis, CA (rivals.com)
  9. Will Smith LB 6-3 215 Fresno, CA (fresno bee)
  10. Ken Wiggins OL 6-6 265 5.6 Elk Grove, CA (rivals.com)
  11. Barry Wilson WR 6-4 185 Tulare, CA (fresno bee)

Fresno State has 14 scholarships available, if all 11 keep their verbal commitments, the Bulldogs have three left to offer. Clovis West defensive end Chris Lewis has to be one of those, but still could shun the 'Dogs especially if Hill is not clear about his future as head coach. Clovis East running back Tracy Slocum is all but out of a Fresno State scholarship. FS has already signed two running backs and Miller is the real deal. I'm sure Fresno State would still love to have Slocum, but Hill's flirtation with the NFL just gives him another excuse to overlook Fresno State.

Assuming Lewis signs with the 'Dogs who gets the final two spots? Does high school All-American punter Kyle Peterson deserve one of those spots? The 6-4 210 Peterson is out of South Hills High in Covina, Ca. He was a participant in the US Army All-American game and is deciding between the Bulldogs, South Carolina, Louisville, Duke and UTEP. For the final spot I like WR/DB Tyquan Knox out of Crenshaw. He is an amazing talent that has been overshadowed by all the hype given to teammate Darian Hagan, Jr. Knox had some off the field problems early this year which caused him to enroll at Narbonne, but has since been reinstated at Crenshaw. His off the field problems will probably send him towards the JC route, but Arizona and UCLA are his favorites over the Bulldogs anyway. As far as I know Yosemite's WR/CB Jonathan Blea has yet to commit. The 6-4 200 lb Blea had 51 catches for 993 yards on the year and could pair with Wilson in the future to form a lethal pass catching duo.

According to Scout.com, Fresno State has standing offers to eight players. Two have verbally committed to other schools, LB Mark Johnson has committed to Ohio State and WR James Dockery has a soft verbal to Oregon State. Dockery, however, made an official visit to Fresno State in early December and came away impressed. He may back out of his soft verbal to Oregon State. The other six listed are: Peterson, Slocum, Lewis, RB Demetrius Sumler, RB Eric Jordan and LB J.J. Kulusich.

If had to guess the final three scholarships recipients, the first is obviously Chris Lewis if he still wants to come to Fresno State. The second will probably be Kyle Peterson, considering he is a K/P and Fresno State suffered kicking woes after Clint Stitser got hurt. The final scholarship will probably not going to be a running back, unless Slocum decides on the 'Dogs, highly unlikely. That would rule out Sumler and Jordan. Kulusich was offered back in September according to Scout.com, but rivals.com does not have Fresno State on his list of schools. Dockery seemed pretty excited about his trip to Fresno and my guess is he would get the last scholarship offer.