Back on national signing day, Fresno State made a point of saving some available scholarships. The Bulldogs signed only 14 players and had 17 total in the class of 2015, including three who had enrolled midyear to participate in spring practices.
With a young roster — 68 of the 105 players in fall camp are freshmen or sophomores — coach Tim DeRuyter knew then that depth could become a problem, that there were areas where they might need an older, more experienced player. And on Friday, they added another strong recruit to the list of late signees in cornerback Tyquwan Glass from Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.
“He can run really well, has great ball skills, and he’s a mature kid, coming from junior college as well,” defensive backs coach Marcus Woodson said. “That will be good, bringing his experience into the room and helping a group that doesn’t have as much experience. I’m excited.
He can run really well, has great ball skills, and he’s a mature kid, coming from junior college as well.
defensive backs coach Marcus Woodson on newly arrived recruit Tyquwan Glass of Mt. SAC JC
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“He will definitely be a big asset to this group, both from a maturity standpoint and also obviously from a physical standpoint as well. We will be much better with him in this room, for sure. I’m excited about it, and he will be a guy who will play for us this year.”
Glass, who had seven interceptions and was credited with 14 pass breakups last season as a sophomore, joined the team Friday night and will be on the practice field Saturday along with the other late signees, all of whom have made favorable impressions through the summer and into fall camp.
Nick Kristofors from Santa Rosa College is in the two-deep and competing for playing time at defensive end. Josiah Blandin from Long Beach City gives the Bulldogs a big receiving target at 6 feet, 4 inches, and is expected to see a lot of the field this season.
Dustin Garrison, the graduate transfer from West Virginia, provides needed depth at running back and a versatile option out of the backfield. Patrick Belony from Antelope Valley JC provides a large body and some badly needed depth at nose guard — he reported to camp at 6-2, 309 pounds.
Glass joins a position group that includes senior Charles Washington and junior Jamal Ellis, but overall a group that is young with sophomore Malcolm Washington, redshirt freshman Anthoula Kelly, and true freshmen Mike Bell and Jalen Smith in the mix.
As with the defensive line, running back and receiver, because of the inexperience corner was a target area for the Bulldogs’ assistant coaches, who worked their relationships with high school and junior college coaches after signing day and kept their eyes and ears open when out recruiting in the spring for potential fits.
“I think with where we’re situated, there are always going to be some guys late that you want to have some scholarships available for,” DeRuyter said.
“There are going to be some really good players that become available and if you don’t have a scholarship it’s hard to say goodbye to those that you could have signed.”
Fresno State didn’t have to do that this year, with scholarships available, and DeRuyter said it is something that they will continue to look to do in the future.
It is something with which they have had success — left tackle Alex Fifita, who has started career games and is a preseason all-conference selection, was a late signee in 2012.
Running back Josh Quezada and cornerback Curtis Riley also became starters after joining the team late, and the Bulldogs have been able to bolster depth in other areas as well.
This is something we need to plan for every year, to have about three (scholarships) or so to have at the end, whether through attrition or some at-risk guys, we’re going to want to have some as we go into the summer.
Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter on strategy to add late recruits
“You get to go through spring football and identify where some holes are in your roster, whether it’s depth or someone to come in and compete for a starting job,” he said. “I know at other places I’ve been we’ve had that same strategy. Let’s go through spring ball and if we’re not solid at corner or defensive end, whatever position it is, to go out in May recruiting and keep your eyes and ears open on who might be out there and go shore those positions up.
“You have to have great relationships with coaches out there. You have to know where the talented guys are and who are going to be the late guys. We’ve had some relationships from Texas where now we have coaches call us when guys graduate and are looking for a last year to play. Having those kinds of things obviously helps you. We’re going to be hiring a director of player personnel and one of my meetings with him will be, ‘Hey, this is something we need to plan for every year,’ to have about three (scholarships) or so to have at the end, whether through attrition or some at-risk guys, we’re going to want to have some as we go into the summer.”
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada