Jalen Cropper is staying home.
The Buchanan High senior wide receiver orally committed to Fresno State in front of family and friends at the Parlier Senior Center on Sunday afternoon. He plans to sign on Dec. 19.
The 6-foot, 174-pound senior recently announced his top five college choices: Boise State, Cal, Fresno State, Utah and Oregon but later changed to a top four of Cal, Utah, Nebraska and Fresno State – before ultimately deciding to play for Jeff Tedford’s Bulldogs.
The four-star recruit by 247Sports said he made his decision early Sunday morning. even after Cal made a hard push.
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“Just Bulldog Born, Bulldog Bred,” Cropper said. “It means a lot because I get to play with my brothers and everybody in Fresno will get to watch me play again.”
His mom, Lisette Moreno, said Cropper opened a bag of shirts for her and his dad, Aaron, to put on and she had a question for her son:
“This is what you’re picking?” she asked, looking at the red shirt to signify Nebraska.
“He’s opening more shirts and he gets to the Fresno State shirt and he’s like, ‘I made my decision to stay here to break records and make you proud.’ That was just amazing. I cried and I had to stay in the room for a while. I was just in shock. I didn’t think he was going to pick Fresno State.”
And her reasoning for her doubts of her son choosing Fresno State:
“There’s so many offers he has,” she said. “I thought he was going to wait and see who else is going to keep offering. I didn’t think Fresno State was his No. 1 pick.”
Said his father, Aaron: “Fresno State. He decided to stay home, which we’re definitely excited to know we’ll be able to be a part of that journey even more closer to home. It’s exciting.”
Cropper said he was told by coaches that he will be a wide receiver for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs will lose several wide receivers next season, including KeeSean Johnson, who became the school’s leader in career receiving yards in a 31-13 victory over San Jose State on Saturday.
Cropper said that initially Nebraska was his top choice. But he said he couldn’t get away from family because he wanted to have mom and dad watch him play since the days when he played for the Longhorns youth team to Sanger High to Buchanan.
“This is all for her,” he said. “Everything I do is for her. It just means something special that I can get to the next level and just doing what I can do. She just wanted me to be successful. That’s the main thing she wanted, but I could’ve done that either way I went, but I wanted to do it where she can watch me.”