Clovis North High School quarterback Brent Bailey always has been a Fresno State football fan.
It didn’t hurt that dad Jeff played for the Bulldogs in 1992 when incoming coach Jeff Tedford was in charge of the quarterbacks.
“First off, I was born and raised in the Valley, so being a ’Dog had always been a top desire,” Brent Bailey said. “Seeing how the season went last year (a 1-11 finish for the Bulldogs), a big part of me wanted to bring the atmosphere back to how I remember it as a kid and how my dad told me it was for him when he played.”
That helps explain why Bailey has declined potential scholarship offers from other colleges and verbally committed to Fresno State. He said Tedford, hired as Tim DeRuyter’s replacement in November, invited him to join the program as a priority walk-on.
Tedford has “coached some of the best quarterbacks,” Bailey said, and “he will push me to be the best quarterback I can be.”
Bulldogs quarterbacks could have another intriguing target in the receiving corps after Fresno State also received a pledge from San Joaquin Delta wideout Derrion Grim.
Bailey, listed at 6-foot-2 and 202 pounds, and the Broncos finished just 6-6 this past season. But he showed dual-threat capability, including in a 49-12 win over Frontier in which he ran for three touchdowns and threw for another. Bailey passed for 303 yards and a touchdown and ran for 106 and a TD in a 33-28 quarterfinal loss to Liberty-Bakersfield.
National signing day is Feb. 1. Schools are in the midst of a dead period when coaches may not have face-to-face contact with prospective recruits. The period ends Jan. 12.
Bailey is eager to get on the practice field and compete for the starting job, though the Bulldogs return Chason Virgil, ex-Clovis North and Fresno City standout Christian Rossi and Quentin Davis. West Los Angeles JC transfer Jorge Reyna and Rancho Bernardo-San Diego’s Mark Salazar also are among the 2017 commits.
“It’s about being the best you can be,” Bailey said. “Being put in those types of situations I think help you develop and grow the best.”
As for Grim, he made the NorCal All-Region I team after leading the Mustangs with 931 yards and 10 touchdowns on 58 receptions. He briefly played for Nebraska before transferring to Delta.
Coming out of McNair High-Stockton, Grim also had fielded offers from Fresno State, Boise State and UNLV. He had verbally committed to Washington State this past October.
As a senior at McNair, Grim caught 96 passes for 1,928 yards and 34 TDs.
“Close to home so my little brother can see me play,” the 6-foot, 180-pound Grim explained of his decision. “Coach Tedford is a great coach and I know he will get me better day to day.”
▪ Ventura College linebacker Grant Bouma also will walk on. He had 44 tackles and one fumble recovery for the Pirates.
Fresno State 2017 football recruits
- QB Brent Bailey, Clovis North (walk-on)
- CB Matthew Boateng, Arizona Western College
- LB Grant Bouma, Ventura College (walk-on)
- OL Jesse Chamberlain, Burroughs-Burbank
- CB Sherman Coleman, Cisco College-Texas
- WR Derrion Grim, Delta
- TE Logun Javernick, Ventura College
- WR Patrick Jeune, Morningside-Inglewood
- RB Nate Jones, Fresno City
- LB Emeka Ndoh, De Anza
- CB Darrius Outland, University-Irvine
- RB Ronnie Rivers, Freedom-Oakley
- QB Jorge Reyna, West Los Angeles College
- QB Mark Salazar, Rancho Bernardo-San Diego
- OL Clive Truschel, Clovis West
- OG Quireo Woodley, Murrieta Valley