Fresno State Football

Davante Adams, KeeSean Johnson and now ... Meet latest Palo Alto commit for Bulldogs

Grubb previews Bulldogs’ scrimmage

The Fresno State Bulldogs college football team will scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, their second in fall camp. Offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb is looking for more from the Bulldogs' No. 1 offense this time around.
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The Fresno State Bulldogs college football team will scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, their second in fall camp. Offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb is looking for more from the Bulldogs' No. 1 offense this time around.

The Fresno State Bulldogs had a light practice on Friday, setting up the second scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday night.

Here are three things from practice:

Palo Alto pipeline

The Bulldogs on Friday received an oral commitment from wideout Jamir Shepard, the latest star receiver from their Palo Alto High pipeline.

The Palo Alto program produced Davante Adams and KeeSean Johnson.

Adams in two seasons playing with quarterback Derek Carr caught a school-record 233 passes for 3,030 yards with a school-record 38 receiving touchdowns.

Johnson played four seasons for the Bulldogs and became not only the leading receiver in school history with 275 receptions, but the all-time leader in receiving yards with 3,463. He ended his career with at least one catch in 50 consecutive games, a school and Mountain West Conference record.

Shepard, who is listed at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, also had scholarship offers from Arizona State, Oregon State and Washington State in the Pac-12 and Hawaii, UNLV and Wyoming in the Mountain West.

For Cropper, X not the only spot

The Bulldogs all camp have been exploring some options at the slot receiver position to go along with Chris Coleman, the No. 1 there.

The latest might be the best: They have started to cross-train 5-foot-11, 155-pound freshman Jalen Cropper, who has had an impressive camp working as an X, at split end.

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Fresno State freshman wide receiver Jalen Cropper runs through drills at fall camp on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. CRAIG KOHLRUSS ckohlruss@fresnobee.com



“He’s a guy that you look at physically when he comes in there and say, ‘OK, it’s going to take him a couple of years to develop,’ ” offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb said. “But when you put the ball in his hands good things are happening.

“He’s just slippery. It’s hard to get your hands on him. He has a very good sense of space, almost KeeSean (Johnson)-esque where he puts his foot in the ground and finds a little seam. They can’t get a clean shot on him. You think you’re going to hit him, but he wouldn’t get wet in a shower. He’s unbelievable.”

Cropper, who started his prep career at Sanger High before moving to Buchanan for his senior season, likely gets more and more work inside.

“He can be inside, he can be outside,” Grubb said. “As long as he’s not making mental mistakes, you can expand his role. ...

“That’s what I’ve been telling (receivers coach Kirby Moore) – ‘Hey, whenever you feel like he has a grasp down, let’s move him around and get him in some other spots.’ ”

Trending upward

Fresno State is projecting season ticket sales will be around 17,500 this season. That is lower than in a 3-9 season in 2015, even after going 22-6 over the past two years with a Mountain West Conference championship.

But the Bulldogs are trending in a positive direction, in the stands.

In 2015, Fresno State sold 18,432 season tickets. In 2016, that number fell to 15,404. There was a modest increase for the first season under coach Jeff Tedford, the Bulldogs in 2017 selling 15,692 season tickets. That increased last season to 16,717.

Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada

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