Fresno State is looking to build on this year’s successful football season by adding an exciting crop of new recruits.
Last week, the Bulldogs received 15 National Letters of Intent during its first-ever early signing period instituted by the NCAA.
“Everyone we felt was going to sign did,” says head coach Jeff Tedford. “It’s nice to have this class pretty much finished. I don’t know that it’s completely finished, there may be one or two more to still come, but we’re very happy about the guys we were able to sign, and fired up they’re going to be part of the future with us.”
Eight of the 15 signees are from the Central Valley, including five players from Fresno/Clovis. That’s the most Valley recruits since 2010.
Fresno State signed seven offensive players and eight defensive players. The largest position group signed was on the defensive line. Four of the Bulldogs’ current starters are graduating.
Two of the new Bulldog recruits, Rodney Wright III and Clive Truschel, are truly Bulldog Born and Bulldog Bred. Their dads both played for Fresno State. They join three other legacy players already on the Fresno State roster, Brent Bailey, Ronnie Rivers, and Mykal Walker.
Wright, a wide receiver, comes to Fresno State from Clovis West High School. His dad, Rodney Wright Jr., played for the Bulldogs during the David Carr era and was drafted into the NFL in 2002.
“Really love what Rodney brings to the table as slot receiver—really dynamic with the ball in his hands,” Tedford says. “[He’s a] quick, versatile player that makes it really hard on defenses.”
Truschel played with Wright at Clovis West. The offensive lineman graduated in June and took the year off to recover from an injury. Coach Tedford believes that he’ll be a really good interior O-lineman.
“Right when I was first hired here, [former Fresno State Coach] Pat Hill told me about Clive,” Tedford says. “We evaluated him and was impressed with his competitiveness and versatility.”
Because Truschel is already done with high school, he is able to join the team early and start practicing with the Bulldogs this Spring.
Clovis West’s Golden Eagles are well represented in this year’s recruiting class. Richard Arias is set to graduate from CW in June. The wide receiver transferred from McLane for his senior year. At 225 pounds, Tedford says he loves his size.
“He’s a big, thick kid that can go up and snag the ball,” he says. “He will bring versatility to our wide receiver position.”
Another wide receiver to sign on to Fresno State is Emoryie Edwards. The Tulare Union High senior was one of the more highly-recruited players in the Valley. He owns Valley records in receiving yards and receptions. Tedford says he’s an “explosive route runner with really natural hands.”
There’s a pair of Sunnyside High School seniors that have also signed on to play for the Bulldogs. Sherwin King is a linebacker that Tedford says is “already pretty well-developed physically” and Deshawn Ruffin, a defensive back, who Tedford says “plays with an edge.”
Fresno State has one junior college recruit. Nick Abbas is an offensive lineman from Fresno City College. The Portland, Oregon native is 6’6” and weighs 290 lbs. “We’re really excited to get him here this fall and expect him to compete at right tackle next season,” Tedford says.
The Bulldogs have also signed two quarterbacks. Steven Comstock is from Glendora, CA. In addition to football, he’s an All-State Wrestler. “We’re really excited about Steven,” Tedford says. “One thing that stands out about this kid is how tough and competitive he is.”
Ben Wooldridge is a quarterback coming to Fresno State from Pleasanton, CA. He came out to Fresno’s camp in the summer and coaches were impressed. Described as a pro-style quarterback, Woodridge overcame a shoulder injury early in his season and ended up still winning his League MVP.
Other players to commit to Fresno State include Elijah Carson, an offensive lineman from San Diego; Matt Kjeldgaard, a defensive lineman from Oakdale; Matt Lawson, a defensive lineman from Ontario; Leonard Payne, a defensive lineman from Downey; Isaiah Johnson, a defensive lineman from Modesto; and Shamar Whestone, a defensive back from Victorville.
The Bulldogs 2018 season kicks off Sept. 1 at home against Idaho. The non-conference lineup also includes games at Minnesota and UCLA, and a home game against Toledo. Season tickets are already on sale. Visit GoBulldogs.com for more information or call 278-DOGS.
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