Sorting through the Bulldogs’ quarterback situation

Fresno State will have two quarterbacks in its 2013 recruiting class, with Zach Greenlee from Lincoln High in Stockton and Brian Burrell from Bakersfield City College making non-binding oral commitments to sign on national letter of intent signing day.

Greenlee will come in as a freshman, Burrell with three to play three. And they will join a position group that is led, obviously, by Derek Carr and includes Marcus McDade and Myles Carr, who next season will be a redshirt sophomore and a redshirt freshman.

Greg Watson, the backup to Carr this season, will be moving full-time to a wide out position and he will be an important piece for Carr and the Bulldogs’ offense.

The 5-foot-10 Watson played as a slot receiver through the first part of the season, when Rashad Evans was ruled ineligible by the NCAA and Josh Harper was down with an injury. And if he were in the position group full-time this season he probably would have played ahead of some of the Bulldogs’ younger receivers, who have had issues with consistency in practice and fulfilling one primary job requirement – catching the football.

Burrell will enroll in school in January in time to participate in spring practices and compete with McDade and Myles Carr to be the backup in the fall. Greenlee will join them in the fall.


VIDEO: Fresno State Coach Tim DeRuyter press conference, Part 2

Fresno State Coach Tim DeRuyter met with the media on Monday to discuss the Bulldogs’ preparations for the Dec. 24 Hawaii Bowl matchup against Southern Methodist, stressing that they will have some fun with their games but that the goal, obviously, is to win the football game and get to 10 wins this season.

Bulldogs’ commit list now includes a JC quarterback

Fresno State closed on two more recruits during the big recruiting weekend that just ended and is expected to add a third, with safety Rodney Mathews (6-0, 195) from Citrus College and quarterback Brian Burrell (6-4, 200) from Bakersfield College making non-binding oral commitments to the Bulldogs.

Kamari Cotton-Moya (6-1, 185) from Ridgeview High in Bakersfield also is expected to join the group, and could play at a number of positions when he arrives at Fresno State.

The Bulldogs also over the weekend received commitments from defensive back Dionza Blue (6-0, 185) from Bishop Amat High in La Puente and defensive back Tray Hall (5-10, 175) and receiver Devon Brown (5-9, 175) from Riverside City College.

A junior college quarterback was not considered a huge priority for Fresno State in this recruiting class – and would seem less so now that Derek Carr has announced he will be back for his senior season.

But Burrell, who helped lead Bakersfield College to a CCCAA state championship with a 35-14 victory over City College of San Francisco, provides a good insurance policy next season and gives the Bulldogs some offensive flexibility.

Burrell, who completed 162 of 296 passes (54.7 percent) for 2,555 yards with 27 touchdowns and only seven interceptions, will enroll at Fresno State in January in time to participate in spring practice and will have three years to play three seasons for the Bulldogs.

He will be able to compete to backup Carr in 2013, with incoming freshman Zack Greenlee joining the group in the fall.

Fresno State pulling in players from big recruiting weekend

Fresno State had a strong group of recruits on official visits this weekend and the non-binding commitments have started to roll in, with as many as five junior college and high school players pledging to sign with the Bulldogs on the Feb. 6 national letter of intent signing day.

Confirmed so far are commitments from defensive back Dionza Blue (6-0, 185) from Bishop Amat High in La Puente and receiver Devon Brown (5-9, 175) and cornerback Tray Hall (5-10, 175) from Riverside City College.

The Bulldogs are looking to sign 25 to 28 players in this recruiting class, addressing pressing needs in the defensive backfield and on the offensive and defensive lines.

Coach Tim DeRuyter and his staff have 14 confirmed oral commitments with the additions of Blue, Brown and Hall.

EYL girls, WYL boys capture all-star water polo games

The East Yosemite girls and West Yosemite boys won all-star water polo games matching top seniors from the two leagues Saturday at Redwood High.

Both scores were 11-8.

In the girls game, Porterville’s Marnie Kavern was the EYL team’s MVP while El Diamante’s Faith Silveria was the MVP for the WYL. Lemoore’s Clayton Paul (WYL) and Monache’s Trevor Kroutil (EYL) were MVPs of the boys game.

It was the fifth straight year that the Kiwanis Clubs of Exeter and Visalia put on the all-star games.

It takes some doing to top Fresno State at the bottom of the single-game assists list

Three assists in a basketball game is a puny number, yet the Fresno State Bulldogs have had only three assists three times in their first nine games – in a 39-30 victory at UC Riverside, a 57-54 loss at Southern Illinois and in their last outing, a 59-50 loss at Washington State.

That got us to thinking … has any Division I team done worse?

Odds were against, but the search started in the big conferences. Pac-12? No. Big Ten? No. Atlantic Coast Conference? No. Big East? No. Southeastern? No. Big 12? No, but it must be contagious because Texas had only three assists when it beat the Bulldogs in the season-opener for both teams.

There were a handful of teams that had only three assists in a game – Missouri State from the Missouri Valley Conference in a loss to Oral Roberts, Charleston Southern from the Big South Conference in a loss to Charleston, Delaware from the Colonial Athletic Association in a loss at Duke, Milwaukee from the Horizon League in a loss to Buffalo, Hampton from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in a loss to William and Mary, Central Florida from Conference USA in a win over Savannah State.

But it took a while before running into a team that had fewer than three assists in a game. There are 33 conferences playing Division I basketball we went through 26 before coming upon McNeese State, which went on the road to Louisiana State on Nov. 13 and got pasted 73-48.

In that game the Cowboys tallied one assist. It came with 9:43 remaining, Kevin Hardy making a pass to Dontae Cannon, who scored to cut the Tigers’ lead to 25 points.

McNeese State lost, which should be instructive to the Bulldogs to some degree. Of all the games where teams had the low assist number in their conferences – and there were close to 50 before coming upon McNeese State – only five times did they end up winning.

Fresno State lands JC defensive lineman

Ioane Sagapolu, the Fresno City College defensive lineman, made an oral commitment to Fresno State after making an official visit to the school last weekend.

Sagapolu (6-foot-1, 295 pounds) projects as a nose guard for the Bulldogs and will be a significant piece next season in a line that returns all-conference nose guard Tyeler Davison and ends Andy Jennings, Nikko Motta and Todd Hunt.

Here are some highlights from Hudl.


Bulldogs can breathe a little easier – Colorado makes a hire

Colorado reportedly has hired its next football coach, landing San Jose State coach Mike MacIntyre, who in three years took the Spartans’ program from 1-12 to 10-2.

That obviously helps Fresno State in a couple of ways … one, Bulldogs’ Coach Tim DeRuyter is known to have been on the Buffaloes radar and, two, San Jose State was likely to have challenged the Bulldogs next season for a Mountain West Conference championship and they now will be starting over to a degree.



Prefight notes for pro debut of Avenal’s Jose Ramirez

This is part of the undercard here at the MGM Grand for Pacquiao-Marquez 4. Avenal’s Jose Ramirez about to fire.

LAS VEGAS — Nearly 30 of Jose Ramirez’s family and friends from hometown Avenal to Mexico are filing in here at the MGM Grand to see tonight’s professional boxing debut of the 20-year-old.

Ramirez, arguably the most decorated amateur boxer in U.S. history, with 145 wins, 11 national titles and six USA gold medals, will fight Colorado’s Corey Seigwarth (2-1) sometime soon after 5 p.m.

It’s part of the undercard of Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez IV, which has The Strip buzzing and hotels stuffed at overcharged rates.

Ramirez’s promoter, Rick Mirigian, says a win is critical for his boxer because of his astounding amount of endorsements without having thrown a pro punch.

“If he loses, it’s big,” says Mirigian, who values Ramirez’s worth at $1 million. “He carries more sponsorships second only to Pacquiao. Jose’s life would not fall apart with a loss, but he would be tough if he lost. He needs to win.”

Mirigian says, generally, the debut of a boxer with Ramirez’s stature would be matched with an opponent with a losing record.

But that’s not happening here, Mirigian says, because of the magnitude and television exposure of a card carried to millions on HBO’s pay-per-view.

Highlights of the Ramirez-Seigwarth fight will be shown during the telecast.