Fresno State football loading up at guard position
Fresno State has not finalized its depth chart for its opener at USC on Saturday, but if the Bulldogs stick with Netane Muti at left guard then redshirt sophomore Dontae Bull likely will be playing left tackle in what would be his second career start.
That first start, encouraging.
The 6-foot-6, 325-pound Bull started at right tackle in place of an injured Syrus Tuitele against Hawaii last season when the Bulldogs rolled up a season-high 562 yards including 214 yards rushing in a 50-20 victory.
Hawaii was far from the best defensive team in the Mountain West Conference, but its ends both ranked in the top 10 in the MW in tackles for loss by defensive linemen.
The Bulldogs’ line pitched a shutout against Kaimana Padello, and Zeno Choi was in on just one tackle.
Offensive coordinator and line coach Ryan Grubb said Fresno State will lock down a depth chart on Monday after coaches have finalized a game plan for the Trojans.
Bull missed a few days in fall camp due to an illness, but caught up quickly and has been getting reps with the No. 1 offense.
“I’ve been doing extra stuff after practices and after lifts, riding the bike a little bit, just to get that little bit extra, to catch up a little bit. This week, I have four more practices. Just keep fighting and working my butt off.
“But I feel the best I ever have on the field, confidence-wise. Not being in it physically gave me more of an opportunity to be in it mentally. I’m just playing ball now. I’m not worried about the technical stuff, it’s more just playing ball.”
Emoryie Edwards recovery progressing
Wideout Emoryie Edwards, who has been out all camp with a foot injury, has added to his rehab work with some straight-ahead running.
Edwards, before his injury, was expected to play a big role for the Bulldogs. He had the best spring of all the young receivers, making every catch that he should and even some that were much more difficult chances. But more than his skills, the Bulldogs coaches always came back to his grit and competitiveness as notable attributes.
“He really showed a lot,” coach Jeff Tedford said toward the end of the spring.
This month, the receiver group has been bolstered in camp by JC transfer Keric Wheatfall and incoming freshmen Jalen Cropper, Josh Kelly and Jamal Glaspie. Sophomore Zane Pope also is having a strong fall.
But Edwards, while still a long way away from game-ready, will get a chance if he continues to make progress in his rehab.
“Absolutely,” Tedford said. “We would play him for sure.”
Still waiting on NCAA transfer waivers
Fresno State has not received final word on NCAA transfer waivers for defensive tackle Kurtis Brown (Arizona), running back Jevon Bigelow (Wyoming), linebacker Jacob Hollins (Illinois) and defensive end David Perales (Sacramento State).
But the Bulldogs are keeping them in play, just in case.
“We’re going to rep everybody and be prepared and manage our reps that way and be ready to go,” Tedford said.
There’s less pressure to get Brown eligible – the Bulldogs have experience and depth in the interior defensive line and he would be a valuable piece next season when they are trying to replace seniors Jasad Haynes, Keiti Iakopo and Ricky McCoy.
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada