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.
||El Camino College/Junipero Serra HS
||Clovis West HS
||Vista Murrieta HS
||Central Catholic HS
||Murrieta Valley HS
||St. John Bosco HS
||University Place, WA
||Curtis Senior HS
||Canoga Park, CA
||Canoga Park HS
||Bueno Park, CA
||Bueno Park HS
||Pearland Dawson HS
||Langston Hughes HS
||West Mesquite HS
||Riverside City College/Oceanside HS
||Southwestern College/Orange Lutheran HS
||LA Pierce College
||San Mateo College/St. Francis HS
||Blinn College/Cinco Ranch HS