From the haven’t-seen-that-in-a-while department … The Bulldogs had 15 offensive linemen running through drills, and that was without the two large Canadians signed back in February, Dontae Bull (6-foot-7, 305 pounds) and Marc-David Bien-Aime (6-5, 365), who are still working their way through some academic issues with the NCAA.
The Bulldogs have had to play down and in some years well down in numbers in that group – last season they made it through the year with 11 scholarship linemen and 14 total; college programs typically carry between 15 to 17 on scholarship.
But they were able to add center Markus Boyer and tackle Cody Pound late, and offensive line coach Ryan Grubb didn’t waste any time getting them involved.
There was just a new energy that we had out here. Guys came out with a lot of energy, definitely different from the spring because coming into spring we really didn’t know much, we hadn’t run it. But I think coming out just for the first day going through things it looked really smooth.
Fresno State quarterback Chason Virgil
Boyer and Pound both got some No. 2 reps on Tuesday, the first day of fall camp.
“It’s nice to have a little depth there and more importantly than depth probably is actual competition,” Grubb said. “I mean, there are guys, you’re able to talk to them before practice and say, ‘Hey, you’re fighting for a job here.’
“It’s going to be fun. That’s what it should be. That’s what guys ultimately want in college football. That part is exciting because it’s just going to bring out the best.”
Tedford on Bull and Bien-Aime: “Still working on some academic stuff with the NCAA. Sometimes it can get a little bit complicated coming from Canada. There are different interpretations, different definitions. Sometimes it gets a little complicated with it, so we’re still working through some of that.”
Running back Josh Hokit, who gave up a wrestling scholarship to Drexel to walk on to the football team and wrestle at Fresno State, has been awarded a scholarship.
“Well deserved for him,” Tedford said. “He has worked hard and had a great spring for us. He’s a very dependable guy and it was nice to reward him with a scholarship.”
Hokit started his freshman season on defense playing at Mike linebacker in fall camp and during the season got reps at the Sam and Joker in the 3-4, as well, before moving to offense. He ended up as the Bulldogs’ running back at the end of the season, rushing the ball 27 times for 130 yards, 4.8 yards a pop.
The Bulldogs will be without freshman Chris Coleman in camp after the defensive back broke a bone in his foot running through drills on Sunday when incoming freshmen and some newcomers worked out for the first time.
There was a lot of carryover from spring ball, so that was nice to see.
Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford
“It hurts because watching him run some drills, he’s going to be a good player, a really good player,” Tedford said. “He’ll probably be out four to six weeks.”
The new guys
Grubb on Boyer: “I told him right away he was going to be in at No. 2 center and let him and (Aaron) Mitchell battle it out. Obviously, Aaron has 15 (spring) practices on him and has started a lot of football games here and is a dang good player, I’m excited about his leadership, and Markus is a hell of a football player. It will be fun. It will be interesting trying to keep either one of those two off the football field.”
Grubb on Pound: “He started every game last year at left tackle for Butte (College) and is a 3-for-3 kid, so he fits really well into our recruiting classes in the offensive line unit that is almost empty – there are only a few guys in there. It balances us out a little, which really helps us out. He’s a big kid, 6-4, 295, and he has a world of growth under him as far as weight room potential.”
The Bulldogs got all of their running backs reps and there are a lot of them – Hokit, Dontel James, Dejonte O’Neal, Saevion Johnson, Deonte Perry, Austin Harper and the freshmen Ronnie Rivers and Jordan Mims.
Rivers had an attention-grabbing catch, cirling out of the backfield. There was a pass high and a bit behind him and he went up with one hand, snared the football and when he hit the ground he was running up field.
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada