Fresno State quarterback Chason Virgil, who lost the starting job this season to graduate transfer Marcus McMaryion, announced on social media Friday that he was transferring to Southeastern Louisiana, a championship subdivision program.
Virgil started the Bulldogs’ first three games of the season as a sophomore, completing 48 of 83 passes (57.8 percent) for 524 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He started 14 games in his Fresno State career, but with McMaryion back for his senior year next season Virgil would have been competing with Jorge Reyna to be the backup.
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“After careful consideration and much prayer, it is with a grateful heart that I announce I will no longer be a Fresno State Bulldog,” Virgil said in his post on Twitter. “I want to thank Coach Tim DeRuyter for recruiting me to Fresno State and I want to thank Coach Jeff Tedford for keeping me this past year and teaching me about the Qb position. I want to personally thank all of my teammates. I love those guys. All of them became my brothers for life and I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys. To the Red wave, I want to thank you for accepting a Texas kid into your program and for the support you have given me the past three years. I truly appreciate that with all my heart!! With that being said I will be transferring from Fresno State to Southeast Louisiana to finish my Academic and Athletic Career!! Love, Chason.”
Virgil, who has two years of eligibility remaining, can play immediately at Southeast Louisiana, which went 6-5 last season and had some issues at the quarterback position. The Lions completed only 47.4 percent of their passes during the year.
The quarterback had come to Fresno State as a highly regarded recruit, enrolling in school early to compete in spring practice. Before enrolling at Fresno State, he had been committed to Mississippi State and had made late recruiting trips to Oklahoma and Louisville.
The Bulldogs had only three quarterbacks on scholarship last season – two before McMaryion transferred in from Oregon State.
McMaryion led Fresno State to nine wins in his 11 starts including a 33-27 victory over Houston in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve. He completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 2,726 yards with 14 touchdowns and just five intereceptions and a passing efficiency rating of 137.65, the highest for any Fresno State quarterback since Derek Carr in 2013 (156.29).
Reyna has two years of eligibility remaining and the Bulldogs signed two quarterbacks during the early national letter of intent signing period – Steven Comstock from Northview-Glendora and Ben Wooldridge from Foothill-Pleasanton.
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada