Fresno State went into a recruiting dead period that runs through the holidays with non-binding oral commitments from 16 players, seven from junior colleges.
Call that roster repair – the high number of JC recruits are needed in this recruiting class because when Coach Tim DeRuyter and his staff arrived in town the Bulldogs’ program had a glaring lack of depth at a number of positions including the secondary and the offensive and defensive lines.
Ideally, DeRuyter said, he would like to recruit, sign and develop high school players. But the junior colleges will remain an area of focus in the future.
‘’We’ll always go out in the spring time and look to see who are the top JC players,’’ DeRuyter said. ‘’There are a lot of really good JC programs, especially here in the local area, that we’ve got connections to. Just like recruiting the valley (high schools), the JC schools that are here are ones we’re going to have access to and need to look at.
‘’Most players that we’ll recruit are going to be high school guys, but if we have some gaps in our recruiting we’ll fix it there. But I think you can also find next-level players sometimes at the JC level as well and even if we have a pretty good stock at a certain position, if there’s somebody that is a difference maker as a pass-rush guy or a receiver or running back, we’re obviously going to take a look and take a shot at those guys.
‘’We’re probably going to recruit a little bit more (JC players) this year, and maybe next year, to try to get the numbers right. Changing schemes doesn’t always fit exactly. But every year we’re still going to look at the JC guys to see if there are some difference makers out there.’’