Marcus McMaryion is out there and available after the former Oregon State starting quarterback announced his intent to transfer, and Fresno State is a likely landing spot for a number of reasons.
One, he would have a chance to compete for a starting job right away.
Two, it is close to home for the Dinuba High grad.
Three, several local stars have already returned home to the Bulldogs after starting at Pac-12 and Big 12 schools, boosting the talent level in the program.
Coach Jeff Tedford made it clear Tuesday he’s interested in McMaryion, though indications are the graduate transfer is drawing interest from a number of schools.
“Any time you have a guy like that who is a local guy and is a really good player, from the level that he has played, I think you always need to take a look at what he would add to your team,” Tedford said. “We’ll see how it all plays out.”
That all was in play on Tuesday, as the Bulldogs held the first of three scrimmages in fall camp.
Chason Virgil, the Bulldogs’ returning starter at quarterback, is hooked up to social media so he knows all about McMaryion and that a likely landing spot is the same one he presently calls home, but it didn’t seem to faze him.
Virgil, who took reps with the No. 1 and No. 2 offense, got the unit he was working with into the end zone six times during the scrimmage. That included his own touchdown runs of 30 yards and 4 yards and an 11-yard touchdown pass to KeeSean Johnson.
Freshman running backs Ronnie Rivers and Jordan Mims also continued to impress, as did the No. 1 offensive line.
Mims scored on a 50-yard pass from Virgil and also had runs of 18 and 16 yards.
The offenses – Tedford and offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer ran four quarterbacks through the scrimmage with Virgil, JC transfer Jorge Reyna, senior Christian Rossi and freshman Kyle Lindquist getting reps – were able to sustain drives and make some big plays.
Rossi beat a blitz to hit wideout Brian Burt for a 69-yard touchdown. Reyna made a deft play during a live period in practice before the scrimmage, avoiding the pass rush to get the ball to Mims for a 27-yard gain.
“There were some big plays,” Tedford said. “I’d like to be a little bit more consistent down in the red zone. We didn’t score enough there, but out in the field we put together some drives, made some big plays. So, yeah, there was a lot of positives to take from it, but a lot of work to do yet.”
Virgil, who started 10 games in his redshirt freshman season, said it was a good first scrimmage. The Bulldogs will scrimmage again on Saturday, and then will hold an open scrimmage on Aug. 19 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. inside Bulldog Stadium.
“I liked our energy,” Virgil said. “We kind of came out slow at first just going through the individual stuff at practice, but when it was time to play we picked it up. We made a lot of good plays. There are going to be things that we have to learn from on film, but the positive is that we made plays and scored the ball.”
A potential addition of McMaryion, he said, is just business.
“The coaches make the decisions that they have to make,” Virgil said. “My job is to just control what I can control and just continue to have a good attitude about everything.”
If Fresno State does land the Oregon State transfer, the Bulldogs could take their quarterback competition into the season. They open Sept. 2 against Incarnate Word, a school from the championship subdivision, and then have road trips to Alabama and Washington. The Bulldogs then get a chance to regroup with a bye before starting Mountain West Conference play on Sept. 30 against Nevada.
It could just be trivia, but Tedford in his second season at Cal kept working quarterbacks until Aaron Rodgers made his first start in the fifth game of the season.
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada
Saturday, Aug. 19: Scrimmage/Fan Appreciation Day (only practice open to public)
Saturday, Sept. 2: Opener vs. Incarnate Word, 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium
Check out our daily fall camp highlights, including video, at www.fresnobee.com/
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The Bee’s first Fresno State football preview magazine, included in the Aug. 31 edition of The Bee