Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Devon Wylie - Fresno State's Version of the Flash

As 2007 bids adieu to a player commonly referred to as Batman it also welcomes in Fresno State's version of the flash. Anyone who has watched the recruiting videos of Devon Wylie knows exactly why Wylie would be called the Flash . If you have not had the opportunity to see the elusiveness of Wylie take a few minutes out of your day and access youtube.com to watch his high school video highlights. In 2006 Fresno State more often than not struggled with field position as the Bulldogs outstanding kick returner Adam Jennings moved on to the NFL. While at Fresno State Jennings was one of the most electrifying players ever to step in Bulldog stadium. Jennings played with no fear and had no desire to fair catch anything kicked to him. Jennings had the uncanny ability to run backwards ten yards and turn the mess he created into a fifty yard gain. Losing Paul Pinegar turned out to be a big blow to the Fresno State offense. However, losing Adam Jennings may have been the dagger to the heart for the offense of Fresno State.

The parallels between Devon Wylie and Adam Jennings are remarkable. They both attended the same high school. Both men possess the same body size and speed. Both men play the same position and provide a chance at scoring everytime the ball is in their hands. Devon Wylie stands at 5'9", Jennings stands at 5'10. Wylie runs a 4.35-4.4 forty time, Jennings runs a 4.3. Wylie weighs 175 pounds, Jennings weighs in at 170. The biggest difference Between these two players is their skin color, something that should not make one bit of a difference in today's world. Wylie was recruited by both Wyoming and Oregon State but decided his home would be here in Fresno. He has been told that he has the opportunity to make a difference for this team right from the start, something Pat Hill does not allow often with Freshman. Wylie however possesses a speed and quickness that is hard to ignore.

In 2006 Fresno State often started from their own 20 yard line. Trevor Shamblee and Chastin West were featured as kick returners for the Bulldogs. While neither were particularly fast Jennings departure left Fresno State with a void at kick/punt returner. When the opposing offense did not kick the ball into the end zone it would rarely be returned to the 20 yard line forcing the Bulldogs to go at least 60 yards to attempt a field goal. In 2005 many remember Jennings' returns in the USC game as what helped the Bulldogs put up such an amazing fight. Twice jennings fielded the ball inside his ten only to return it to USC territory. Jennings constantly gave Fresno State great field position making it that much easier for the Bulldogs to get in the end zone. Regardless of how good your offense is, scoring from 40 yards out is much easier than scoring from 80 yards out. Wylie will have the opportunity to give the Bulldogs a returner who once again can make a difference on the field of play. Expect Wylie to be on the field in September against Sac State for the first kickoff of the year. While 2006 offered little to be excited about, 2007 is bringing much more excitement not only with the new recruits but with this Bulldogs team as a whole. Devon Wylie will have a chance to make a difference for this Fresno State Football team and most would be foolish to think he won't accomplish just that in his time here in Fresno.

Note: Tomorrow is signing day and I hope some of you can make it out to World Sports with us at 3pm. We will be checking out the videos of our new recruits and talking Bulldog football with 1550 sports radio. Tomorrow's blog will discuss the difference Sharrod Davis and Chris Carter can make on the Bulldogs defense.


Anonymous said...

NSC, you are right that Paul Pinegar's departure turned out to be a problem for the 'Dogs. It should not have been, however.

That we did not have a qb prepared to take over the spot--remember, Paul did not leave early; we knew he was going--was inexcusable IMHO. That in no way indicates that Paul was so great; in fact, he was an average qb who often choked at the worst possible time.

So while yes, PP's departure did end up hurting us more than we expected, it did so only because the powers that be did not have a quality replacement lined up (or if they did, they refused to play him).

There is a reason that coaches are paid so much more than professors. Our qb experience of late belies that reasoning.

I hope we have learned a lesson from all this, and correct these errors in the future.

Steve Burnes

nsc said...

Yeah I know Steve, I just mentioned that for other reasons, not to point out how the coaches failed the program in 2006. I believe we have already gone down that road so I instead am trying to concentrate on what this team can do right to get back to where we were before 2006.

Anonymous said...

Damn,we lost Christian Tupou to USC.Sounded like he was leaning our way.

nsc said...

Yeah and the thing that sucks is USC was recruiting him for all of one week while Fresno State had shown the guy loyalty for the entire recruiting season. It has to be hard on the coaches to continually put everything out there for a player like Tupoa and to lose out most of the time. It just doesn't seem right does it?

gabeeg said...

Damn, those videos of Wylie...that is one quick and balanced dude. Now, he will hopefully be a great return guy...but what I am truly hoping is that he gains 10-15 pounds and grows 4-6 inches by Fall...he would make a nice receiver :)

nsc said...

Isn't he fast? He has such good lateral vision and his moveent is amazing. I cannot remmeber a guy at Fresno State who could ever cut like Wylie does and I hope that he brings that excitement to Bulldog stadium next season. I wouldn't count on too much weight being put on but hey you never know he could grow five inches, haha.

Anonymous said...

Devon looks like the real deal, and I think he might get an immediate opportunity to help the 'Dogs. He is an exciting player--just what the doctor ordered!

Steve Burnes

Darth Wylie said...

Fresno State is very fortunate to have DEVON WYLIE on their football team. He is a stellar person as well as a pure athletic threat on the Grid Iron. I should know. I am his Uncle Chris from OREGON, we'll miss not having him up here. So everyone set your VTR's bring your cameras the "FLASH" is coming to a Stadium near you!

Anonymous said...

Devon Wylie is exciting to watch! We are looking forward to seeing him do some great things this year on the field! When he gets the ball in his hands you know yards will be gained! We love you white chocolate!
DnA :)