Fresno State held back a handful of scholarships on national letter of intent signing day in February, a strategy that has played out well the past few years, and Monday added four-star wideout L.J. Reed from Tokay High-Lodi to its 2015 class.
Reed, who had been committed to UCLA, is one of four players coach Tim DeRuyter and his staff have added over the past month.
Other recent signings include receiver Josiah Blandin of Long Beach City College and, as previously reported, defensive lineman Nick Kristofers from Santa Rosa JC and receiver Kheenyon Woods of Pomona High.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Reed becomes the highest-rated player in the Bulldogs’ recruiting class — they signed 10 players rated as three-star prospects by various recruiting services in February, the most in four classes recruited by DeRuyter.
“We’re pretty fired up that we had a few (scholarships),” DeRuyter said. “Every year there are issues sometimes with a school’s admissions and you just never know the situation. A guy can sign and it doesn’t work out for that school and there’s an outstanding player that’s available. We’re in a situation where we know these things happen and you want to have a scholarship available and he’s an example of why we do it.”
Reed played six games at Tokay, sitting out the first month after transferring in from Cosumnes Oaks-Elk Grove. He caught 39 passes for 501 yards and four touchdowns and was an All-Tri-City Athletic League first-team selection for the Tigers’ basketball team.
“He’s a 6-3, 230-pound kid who can run,” DeRuyter said. “He has great body control. He’s a basketball player. He’s a guy that can make plays and he knows how to use his body to screen people out. Obviously, he’s going to have to come in and learn the system, but he is very much an example of a guy that we’re trying to find every year.”
All four recruits are expected to compete for playing time in the fall. Fresno State still has two scholarships available in its 2015 recruiting class.
Blandin (6-4, 200) signed with Arizona State as a senior at Long Beach Poly High and played his first two seasons at Long Beach City, where he caught 82 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 TDs, averaging 16.1 yards per reception. He will have two years to play two seasons of football for the Bulldogs.
Kristofers (6-3, 270), who started at Sacramento State, was credited with 34 tackles including nine behind the line of scrimmage and 7.5 sacks as a sophomore. He has two years of eligibility.
Woods (6-1, 160) played as a receiver and defensive back in helping the Red Devils to a CIF Mid-Valley Division championship. He caught 12 passes for 287 yards and six touchdoowns and rushed for 440 yards and five TDs on just 34 plays.