Aug 24, 2019
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Fresno State offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau talks with 940 ESPN radio host Paul Loeffler about the Bulldogs’ new recruits during National Signing Day. (Ricky Gutierrez/The Collegian)

Football: ‘Dogs boost roster on National Signing day

Fresno State offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau talks with 940 ESPN radio host Paul Loeffler about the Bulldogs’ new recruits during National Signing Day. (Ricky Gutierrez/The Collegian)

Fresno State offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau talks with 940 ESPN radio host Paul Loeffler about the Bulldogs’ new recruits during National Signing Day. (Ricky Gutierrez/The Collegian)

Fresno State football reloaded its roster by signing 21 student-athletes on Wednesday’s National Signing Day event.

The Bulldogs made an effort to beef up at the line of scrimmage, signing four offensive linemen. Another area the ‘Dogs heavily focused on was strengthening the front seven on defense, where they added five linebackers and four defensive linemen.

The 2016 class also includes three running backs, two tight ends, two defensive backs and a quarterback.

“We are really excited about the quality student-athletes we signed today and how our coaching staff was able to make connections with these young men and their high school coaches in putting together a tremendous class,” head coach Tim DeRuyter said in a statement. “We were able to address a number of needs between the early signing period and now.”

Of the 21, 16 were signed on Wednesday while five signed in December as mid-year junior college transfers including linebacker Trent Soechting (Blinn College), defensive lineman Malik Forrester (LA Pierce College) and offensive linemen Ryan Popolizio (San Mateo College), Shane Gama (Southwestern College) and Christian Cronk (Riverside City College).

For this class, the ‘Dogs reached out to six different states to find some of these student-athletes but were also signed some Central Valley talent like defensive back Juju Hughes (Hanford), running back Justin Rice (Central Catholic-Modesto) and tight end Johnny Rojas (Clovis West).

“Recruiting is changing with social media, and your outreach is vast now,” DeRuyter added. “Those guys, because we are on TV all the time, they know what Fresno State football is all about, and we’ve got coaches that have relationships all over the country. You have to take advantage of those and try to get the best talent we can coming in here, but at the same time I’m really proud of the three local kids we have coming in.”

The ‘Dogs kick off spring ball on Feb. 29 and open the season Sept. 3 at Nebraska.

 

Time Signed Player Position Height Weight Hometown High School
9:31 a.m. Tainoa Foster LB 6-2 192 Honolulu, HI Kamehameha HS
8:04 a.m. Juju Hughes DB 5-10 172 Hanford, CA Hanford HS
7:43 a.m. Austin Vaimili DL 6-5 256 Torrance, CA El Camino College/Junipero Serra HS
7:20 a.m. Johnny Rojas TE 6-6 216 Fresno, CA Clovis West HS
7:20 a.m. Kevin Atkins DL 6-2 279 Murrieta, CA Vista Murrieta HS
7:18 a.m. Jaron Bryant DB 6-0 176 Duncanville, TX Duncanville HS
7:17 a.m. Justin Rice RB 6-2 201 Modesto, CA Central Catholic HS
7:15 a.m. Quireo Woodley OL 6-2 282 Murrieta, CA Murrieta Valley HS
7:13 a.m. Quentin Davis QB 6-0 202 Bellflower, CA St. John Bosco HS
7:12 a.m. Elijah Piper DL 6-3 308 University Place, WA Curtis Senior HS
7:12 a.m. Deonte Perry RB 5-11 169 Canoga Park, CA Canoga Park HS
7:11 a.m. Andrew Wright LB 6-2 199 Bueno Park, CA Bueno Park HS
7:09 a.m. Lukas McKenzie LB 6-1 184 Reno, NV Reno HS
6:12 a.m. Saevion Johnson RB 6-0 188 Pearland, TX Pearland Dawson HS
6:06 a.m. Jeffrey Allison LB 6-0 257 Fairburn, GA Langston Hughes HS
5:20 a.m. Donte Coleman TE 6-3 220 Mesquite, TX West Mesquite HS
Dec. 21 Christian Cronk OL 6-5 290 Oceanside, CA Riverside City College/Oceanside HS
Dec. 21 Shane Gama OL 6-4 300 Chino, CA Southwestern College/Orange Lutheran HS
Dec. 21 Malik Forrester DL 6-1 315 Annapolis, MD LA Pierce College
Dec. 21 Ryan Popolizio OL 6-6 310 Fremont, CA San Mateo College/St. Francis HS
Dec. 21 Trent Soechting LB 6-3 207 Katy, TX Blinn College/Cinco Ranch HS
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