Fresno State’s football program will be without a familiar face next fall – and the Bulldogs came close to losing a new one.
Quarterback Zack Greenlee, who played in seven games last season with five starts, has left the program and is expected to transfer to a lower-division school, according to sources.
New Fresno State offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau meanwhile, was reported Monday to be a candidate for the same job at Boise State. A Fresno State source, however, said late Monday that Kiesau will remain with the Bulldogs.
Greenlee opened the season as the starter and threw three touchdown passes in a victory over Abilene Christian but was replaced by freshman Chason Virgil against Utah in the Bulldogs’ third game. Greenlee was suspended for the next game at San Jose State after an arrest for suspicion of public intoxication just hours after a loss to the Utes, and after that was in and out of the lineup in a season the Bulldogs had four starting quarterbacks due to injury and ineffective play.
In the seven games during his redshirt sophomore season, Greenlee had the lowest completion percentage of the four. He completed only 74 of 156 passes (47.4 percent) for 866 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. His passing efficiency rating was 113.88.
Fresno State has freshman Chason Virgil, junior Ford Childress and redshirt freshman Kilton Anderson returning, all expected to compete in a more multiple offense this spring under Kiesau.
Kiesau was hired Dec. 31 to replace the fired Dave Schramm after the Bulldogs went 3-9.
An offseason consultant for national champion Alabama in 2015, Kiesau met with Fresno-area media for the first time Saturday and said he felt Fresno State was “a good match. I’m fired up.”
Kiesau and new defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward are expected to help the Bulldogs expand their recruiting base and targeted players entering national letter-of-intent day Feb. 3.
“To me, I think we hit a home run with the combination of these guys,” coach Tim DeRuyter said last week, referring also to the additions of former Bulldogs assistant Mark Weber and former player Joe Bernardi to the staff.
Kiesau previously had stints as offensive coordinator at Washington and Colorado.
Boise State is looking for a new offensive coordinator after Eliah Drinkwitz last week accepted the same position at North Carolina State. The Broncos also have a new defensive coordinator, with linebackers coach Andy Avalos promoted to the position Monday after Marcel Yates left to be the defensive coordinator at Arizona.