Tedford recaps Bulldogs’ second camp scrimmage
The plan Fresno State had for Josh Hokit was to take a redshirt season, learn life as a linebacker after playing as a running back the past three seasons. After football, he would go and wrestle as a heavyweight rather than at 197 pounds, allowing him to keep his weight constant for a change. Then, next football season, he could come back for one last season of football ready to go for the Bulldogs’ defense.
But Hokit always said that he was not taking the season off. If something happened, if there was an injury, if he was needed for one reason or another, he would be ready.
He is needed, and this week will be returning to offense to take some reps at running back while the Bulldogs deal with some injuries in a position group that has been absorbing some bumps and bruises through fall camp.
“We’ve got some guys banged up and we have to see potentially if it’s long term. but we feel like he has the potential to make us a better team at that position,” coach Jeff Tedford said.
Hokit, who rushed for 260 yards and one touchdown last season, did individual work with the running backs group on Saturday night before the Bulldogs’ second fall camp scrimmage. He borrowed a jersey from defensive end Kwami Jones and was back to wearing No. 33 – he had been in No. 1 at the start of camp when playing middle linebacker. The play calls, the protections all came back very quickly.
“Inside zone footwork, all that stuff, it’s just built into me, honestly,” Hokit said. “It’s in my blood now, just like second nature. It’s not going to be difficult to switch or anything.”
Where it goes from here is an open question. But Hokit can play in any four games and retain his redshirt season, whether in the backfield or at linebacker.
At running back, he has more experience than any of the Bulldogs’ backs behind starter Ronnie Rivers. Junior Jordan Mims, second on the team last season with 436 rushing yards and six touchdowns, had ankle surgery last week and is out for the year.
As a sophomore in 2017, Hokit scored three touchdowns in a victory at San Diego State that got the Bulldogs off to a 4-0 start in Mountain West Conference play and propelled them to a West Division title in Tedford’s first season.
“No doubt about it, he’s a guy that you can depend on,” Tedford said. “He has had a lot of game reps in big situations. He’s a dependable guy, for sure.”