Fresno State went through fall camp practice No. 7 Friday on its new turf inside Bulldog Stadium, a short practice full of situational periods and walk-through in preparation for the first scrimmage on Saturday.
Fresno State had planned to make the old turf available to fans in some fashion – it was home to the all-time leading passer in school history (Derek Carr), the all-time leading rusher (Robbie Rouse), the all-time leading receiver (Davante Adams, then KeeSean Johnson), the first unanimous All-American in school history (Phillip Thomas) and Mountain West Conference championship teams in 2012, ‘13 and ‘18.
The Bulldog Foundation will auction parts of the old turf, but a department official said a lot of it went into a garbage bin.
Three things from practice …
Decisions loom at several positions
Coach Jeff Tedford said the Bulldogs would do a lot of situational work in the scrimmage and next week will start to adjust reps in position groups as they work through personnel and what the offense will look like this season.
It will be an important 90-plus plays for some players, particularly the freshmen who have a chance to see the football field this season.
“We keep mentioning the receivers, but there are a lot of them,” offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb said. “The three young receivers - (Jamal) Glaspie, (Jalen Cropper) and (Josh) Kelly stand out, obviously. Peyton Dixon. But even guys like Bula Schmidt, they’re really young, but they’re picking up stuff really fast.
“It doesn’t feel like they’re totally overwhelmed, which is what you get sometimes with freshmen. I’ve been really happy with that.”
The Bulldogs will have some decisions to make at center and the guard spots up front, with a running back rotation and at tight end.
Quirero Woodley took reps at center the first two days of camp, but has been playing tackle and guard since. Grubb said they would get the third-year sophomore back into the mix some next week, after the first scrimmage.
The thought there has been just to get redshirt freshman Tyrone Sampson and the freshman Schmidt some additional reps. Junior Matt Smith has been with the ones.
The competition at the two guard spots appears to be between seniors Nick Aibuedefe and Nick Abbs, Woodley and Schmidt.
Muti pancakes a defensive lineman
There was some thought to moving left tackle Netane Muti back inside – he started every game in 2017 at left guard before moving outside. But he has dominated camp at tackle. In a one-on-one drill on Thursday, a defensive lineman beat an offensive lineman off the edge, which apparently touched off just a bit too much celebration for Muti’s liking.
Muti was not up for the next rep, but he nudged his way to the front of the line and then buried the defensive lineman across from him in the drill, put him flat on his back.
Test for Reyna, too
The Bulldogs obviously have run through team periods and 7 on 7s, but no extensive live work, which makes the scrimmage a good test for quarterback Jorge Reyna, too.
What does Grubb want to see?
“Control,” he said. “I’m not talking about being conservative or anything like that. Just controlling the environment when coaches aren’t out there, getting guys lined up right and taking control of those things. That’s one of the toughest parts of being a quarterback – having the wherewithal to be calm, but at the same time instill attack in your teammates.
“You can get guys going, but at the same time you have to be so under control. But even as a thrower, you think about it, it’s about knowing when to attack a throw, a vertical seam, and when to take the checkdown. Those are the things that can separate guys so we want to really see if he can handle that – and we know that he can. But (Saturday) will be a big step for that.”