Todd Jones / Utah Statesman
Tracy Slocum made the difficult decision to move to Fresno after he spent three years playing his college football at University of California-Berkeley.
He still wanted to play football and chose to walk-on at Fresno State. However, he found out doing so wasn’t easy; he needed to complete 39 units in order to be eligible.
“I decided to come back home because I have two kids and my family is here,” Slocum said.
Slocum stepped away from football for an entire year. Now a senior, he successfully completed his required units and he is currently playing football for the Bulldogs.
“If I keep working hard and practicing hard everything will take care of itself and when I get my opportunity I will make the most of it,” Slocum said.
Slocum’s opportunity came in Fresno State’s second game of the season against Utah State on the road. With starting running back Robbie Rouse nursing a shoulder and ankle injury, the ‘Dogs employed Slocum and A.J. Ellis in their 41-24 win at Utah State. Ellis got the start and scored three touchdowns, but Slocum also found the end zone. He carried the ball five times and finished with 12 rushing yards.
Slocum once dominated opposing teams under the Central Valley’s Friday night lights at Clovis East High School.
Fans throughout the Central Valley thought Slocum was destined to be a college football star and he was. However, instead of staying home to play Fresno State, Slocum decided to take his game elsewhere.
“I had a lot of Pac-10 schools trying to recruit me, but my decision was simple,” Slocum said. “I chose Cal-Berkeley because I have family there,”
Slocum was heavily recruited by Cal, Arizona State, Fresno State, UCLA and Washington State.
Coming out of high school, Slocum was considered the 16th-best running back in the country according to Rivals.com. He rushed for 1,800 yards as a junior and added 800 yards and four touchdowns in his senior season before an injury slowed him down.
Slocum, who led his team to a valley championship two years prior, ended his high school career with a fractured ankle.
“Tracy was the most talented football player I ever coached,” Clovis East head coach Tim Murphy said. “He was powerful, could break tackles and has that break away speed once he turned up field. He was just an all around back.”
The ankle healed in time to get his college career started at Cal, but he quickly found out he was not the superstar that he was at Clovis East. Playing behind future NFL players Marshawn Lynch (Buffalo Bills) and Jahvid Best (Detroit Lions), Slocum didn’t see much playing time as he played in eleven games rushing for 125 yards and a touchdown against Washington State.
But his arrival on the Fresno State campus has been welcomed with open arms, especially by his teammates and coaches.
“Tracy Slocum and A.J. Ellis will contribute to this football team this year. Everyone will get their opportunity at one point in time during the season,” said head coach Pat Hill.