Fresno State Football

Bulldogs’ Reyna has edge growing into starting role – his new roommate is Marcus McMaryion

When Jorge Reyna got the nod as the starting quarterback at Fresno State, spring ball was over, the pads were put away.

There were some things that were known and some that were not but now that the Bulldogs are in fall camp, coach Jeff Tedford and the offensive staff will start to glean some important answers as they make their way to 2019 as the defending Mountain West Conference champion.

Reyna is already getting help with some of those questions.

When looking for a new roommate this summer he couldn’t have found a better fit than Marcus McMaryion, who led the Bulldogs to 20 wins over the past two seasons including two in bowl games and that conference title, making extra-large leaps between his first and second years in the offense.

McMaryion had a room available. Reyna was looking for a place to live.

“It’s a great deal, because I get to hang out with him and his dog at the same time,” Reyna joked.

That Nash, quite a draw.

But there are obviously benefits on the football side of that equation, as well. McMaryion and Reyna were a good fit at the head of the Bulldogs quarterbacks room the past two seasons, testing one another, pushing, prodding, competing.

They get each other, and get along.

“I’m fortunate to have Marcus as my roommate,” Reyna said. “He reminds me, when he was here, we’d have little competitions here and there.

Fresno State quarterback Jorge Reyna prepares to throw on the first day of preseason camp Friday, Aug. 2, 2019. Reyna, a senior,has been tabbed as the starter by head coach Jeff Tedford. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA

“I’m taking the same approach when I’m here. When I go back home, Marcus would ask me and challenge me on knowing my playbook, understanding my playbook, understanding my reads, understanding what to do or different situations and how I would conduct myself. It’s beneficial to have him there to help push me to become better than what I could possibly be.”

Those still are unknowns – Reyna last season as a junior played in 10 games, but attempted only 12 passes (completing eight for 111 yards and one touchdown).

But for Reyna, it’s a nice piece to a puzzle the senior quarterback and the Bulldogs are starting to put together.

Fresno State has a lot of offensive production to replace in McMaryion as well as wideouts KeeSean Johnson, Jamire Jordan and Michiah Quick.

The Bulldogs return only 36.5% of their total yards from that 12-2 team, one of the lowest percentages in the nation.

Fresno State does not put on full pads until Wednesday, but the answers should start to come quickly. Organizing and running offseason workouts and throwing sessions does not carry a high degree of difficulty compared to some of the looks and blitzes that the Bulldogs’ defense will be running in team periods and the two fall camp scrimmages to come.

Former Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion had a three-day tryout with the Oakland Raiders on May 3-5, 2019. He’ll get a tryout with the New Orleans Saints this weekend. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA

“Jorge has always had really good moxie – that part comes pretty easy for Jorge,” offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb said. “It’s going to be more what you haven’t seen how he reacts in the really tough moments, when your back is against the wall and you have to make a play or you didn’t make a play and then how do you react? That’s the stuff we still have to learn about Jorge.

“You’ll see all those things come out as you press them in scrimmages and competitions and things like that. We’ll see a lot more of that soon.”

Reyna is approaching it the same way he has the past three seasons, two as the backup to McMaryion, his new roommate.

“I’m still taking it day by day. I don’t try to think I’m the starting quarterback. I work like I’m at the bottom of the depth chart and I still want to earn the trust and the respect from my teammates.

“I go to (McMaryion). I go to (quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf). I go to (Tedford) sometimes. But I’m a big advocate in critiquing myself. I understand what I need to do. At the end of the day, everybody is watching my position so I have to make sure I’m crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s and doing everything perfect.”

Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada