Throughout his high school football career, Chris Coleman thought about playing for the Fresno State Bulldogs.
A multiple-position threat who just wrapped up his senior season at Garces High School, Coleman figured he could follow another Bakersfield product, Shannon Edwards, who committed to Fresno State five years ago out of Ridgeview and had a four-year career in the Bulldogs’ defensive backfield.
Until recently, it didn’t look as if Coleman would join the Bulldogs. But with Jeff Tedford taking over as coach and bringing in a new staff, that changed.
Coleman received an offer and committed to Fresno State on Jan. 6. The Bulldogs also picked up a transfer in Azusa Pacific linebacker Mykal Walker.
Coaches cannot comment on prospective student-athletes until a national letter of intent has been signed and validated. National signing day is Feb. 1.
“I definitely wondered why they didn’t offer, but my coach told me to relax and trust the process,” Coleman said. “Once he knew who the head coach was, he told me not to worry, good things will come.”
Coleman played three seasons at West Bakersfield before transferring last season to Garces, where the quarterback/receiver/defensive back was coached by A.J. Gass, an all-conference linebacker for the Bulldogs in 1996 and ’97.
Coleman said Gass shared some insight of what it’s like to play for Fresno State.
“How supportive the fans are through thick and thin,” he said. “How his team was when he was there, because they were good. Nothing serious because he just knows I’ll have fun.”
Coleman said his lone other offer was from Montana State. Other schools expressed interest, but he said he “is solid on my commitment” and hopes to play on both sides of the ball for the Bulldogs. He is listed at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds.
Coleman added he has been impressed by Fresno State’s new coaches.
“I know that they know football and are ready to make the Valley how it was when Derek Carr went there,” he said.
▪ Walker announced Jan. 7 he’s transferring to the Bulldogs. He finished with 102 tackles, two interceptions and three sacks as a sophomore linebacker for Azusa Pacific last season. The Vacaville native is listed at 6-3 and 215 pounds.
▪ Fresno State’s new football strength and conditioning coach is Andy Ward, who comes back to the Valley following six years at Stanford. The Stanislaus State graduate worked full time with the Cardinal football team for the past three seasons and oversaw strength training for the track and field program before that.
▪ The Bulldogs are scheduled to begin spring football March 27. They practice for two weeks, take a week off for spring break and return for two weeks leading up to the April 29 spring game.
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
- WR/DB Chris Coleman, Garces
- CB Sherman Coleman, Cisco College-Texas
- WR Derrion Grim, San Joaquin Delta College
- TE Logun Javernick, Ventura College
- WR Patrick Jeune, Morningside-Inglewood
- RB Nate Jones, Fresno City
- LB Emeka Ndoh, De Anza College
- 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
- LB Mykal Walker, Azusa Pacific
- OG Quireo Woodley, Murrieta Valley