2013 Fresno State Spring Football Analysis
2013 Fresno State Bulldogs ...
Head Coach: Tim DeRuyter
Why To Be Excited Forget about the complete and total dud of a bowl appearance in Hawaii against SMU; 2012 was special. At the end of the day, the 43-10 loss to the Mustangs might have been the best thing to happen to the Bulldogs to make sure there’s a focus on what has to be done to improve. With eight starters returning on each side of the ball, led by quarterback Derek Carr, this should be the Mountain West’s strongest team with explosion and toughness on offense and aggressiveness on defense. Everything is there to have an even stronger year.
| 2013 Schedule
Not Yet Released
Why To Be Grouchy The personnel losses aren’t massive, but they’re stingers. Robbie Rouse was one of the nation’s most underappreciated backs over the last few seasons, and now he’s off to the NFL. Second-leading rusher Marteze Waller is back, but top backups Milton Knox and Michael Harris are gone. Also gone are safety Phillip Thomas, the nation’s most productive defensive back last year, and linebackers Travis Brown and Tristan Okpalaugo.
What Needs Working On The run defense has to focus on toughening up on the line. It was a terrific front seven at getting into the backfield with a consistently good push, but against the teams that could actually run the ball, there were problems. The overall stats looked good with mediocre ground attacks like Wyoming’s, Hawaii’s and Colorado State’s to face, but Boise State ran without a problem, Air Force rumbles and New Mexico went ballistic. It starts with the outside linebackers in the 3-4 taking away the plays on the outside, but the interior needs to be stronger, too.
Team Concerns For 2013: What was that in the bowl game clunker against SMU?
After such a terrific season, the Bulldogs didn't show up when the lights were on, but now there's
motivation to come back better and stronger with one of the best teams the program has fielded in several years. Replacing the diminutive Robbie Rouse at running back
will be tough, and the main backups are gone, too. The O line needs to
be a bit more consistent and stronger with two new starters in the
interior, and the linebacking corps has to find a few replacements.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Tight ends. The Bulldogs are setting themselves up for the future at quarterback with excellent prospect Zack Greenlee to develop and JUCO transfer Brian Burrell to provide instant depth behind Derek Carr. Receiver DaMari Scott might be the team's best prospect, but JUCO tight ends Jerin McClendon and Mike Dunn along with prepster Nate Madsen will be major factors in the passing game. Head coach Tim DeRuyter also went after an instant infusion of talent for the secondary with JUCO transfers Rodney Mathews, Donnell Vercher and Tray Hall.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking:
118 That Class Was Heavy On ... New head coach Tim DeRuyter is speed recruiting, trying to put something together in a short time. The receiving corps got some help in 2010, but more talent and more firepower is needed for 2014 and beyond. DeRuyter’s first job will be to improve the defense, but that’s for the 2013 class. For now, he’s just trying to salvage something out of the short time.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 91. That Class Was Heavy On ... Outside linebackers. The defense found a pass rush last year for the first time in everal seasons, and now the outside linebackers are being brought in to keep the fun going. Donavon Lewis, Ekiro Ederaine, and Kyrie Wilson are the three-star talents, but Lewis is the only one built like a real, live linebacker. The offense didn’t get a bunch of help, but QB Marcus McDade and lightning-fast Dillon Root could pay off right away.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 62. That Class Was
Heavy On ... The passing game.
Even though Derek Carr, the brother of David Carr,
is likely the starting quarterback in the very near
future, the Bulldogs were able to sign Lester
Fontenette, a promising bomber from San Diego, while
Kelly O'Brien is a JUCO transfer who might end up
being the No. 2 man in the mix for the next few
seasons. The dangerous Josh Harper is a big, fast
target who combines with another good receiver,
Davon Dunn, and the 6-6 Victor Dean to load up the
team with receivers. Matt Darr is the nation's best
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 78. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Linebacker. Headlined by local product, Travis Brown, the linebackers were clearly the stars of this class, followed closely by the defensive ends. Pat Su’a and Daniel Salinas move like safeties, while Nat Harrison should be a good one after a little bulking up. On the defensive front, JUCO transfer Donnie Pritchett will be plugged in right away in the rotation, but Nikko Motta could eventually turn out to be better.