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.


Fresno State claims all three player of year awards in Mountain West Conference

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr was selected as the Mountain West Conference offensive player of the year, strong safety Phillip Thomas as the defensive player of the year and Davante Adams as freshman of the year, the first time in history that one school has swept all three awards.

Carr led the league in completions, completion percentage, passing yards and passing touchdowns and is the first Bulldogs’ player to be   a offensive player of the year since his brother, David, was the Western Athletic Conference award in 2001.

Thomas, who led the MWC with eight interceptions and returned three for touchdowns, is the 10th player from Fresno State to be selected as a defensive player of the year, the most recent Chris Carter in 2010.

Adams, who led the league in receptions and receiving yards and touchdown receptions, is the third freshman from Fresno State to win the award and the first since Ryan Wendell in 2004.

Seven Bulldogs were selected to the conference first team in a vote of coaches and media that covers the league – Carr, Thomas, Adams, running back Robbie Rouse, offensive tackle Austin Wentworth, nose guard Tyeler Davison and safety Derron Smith.

Mike linebacker Travis Brown and defensive end Andy Jennings are on the second team, while cornerbacks Sean Alston and L.J. Jones, receiver Isaiah Burse, center Richard Helepiko, tight end Marcel Jensen and punter Andrew Shapiro gained honorable mention.

Fresno State QB Derek Carr wins weekly honors from Manning Award

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr racked up another player of the week award on Thursday, after the Bulldogs’ victory over the Air Force in which he completed 28 of 32 passes for 452 yards and four touchdowns to clinch a share of the Mountain West championship, their first league title since 1999.

The junior from Bakersfield added the Manning Award player of the week to honors from the conference, the Walter Camp Football Foundation and College Football Performance Awards.

The victory over the Falcons marked the third time Carr has had 400 or more passing yards this season, setting a Mountain West single-season record.

Carr also won the Manning player of the week award following the Bulldogs’ victory at New Mexico, and is one of three two-time winners this season along with Devin Gardner from Michigan and Geno Smith from West Virginia. He passed for 416 yards and four touchdowns in that victory over the Lobos.

Bulldogs’ QB Derek Carr picks up another player of the week honor

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr picked up another player of the week honor Monday when selected as Mountain West Conference co-offensive player of the week.

After completing 28 of 32 passes for 452 yards and four touchdowns in a victory over the Air Force that clinched a share of the ‘Dogs first conference championship since 1999, the Bulldogs’ quarterback also was selected as offensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and the national performer of the week and quarterback of the week by the College Football Performance Awards.

The .875 completion percentage against the Falcons set a single-game school record and the 400-yard passing game was his third this season, a conference record.

Carr shared the honor with San Diego State running back Adam Muema, who rushed for a career-high 225 yards and four touchdowns in the Aztecs win at Wyoming.


Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr is national player of the week

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr was selected as the National Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and College Football Performance Awards following his 452-yard passing performance on Saturday that led Fresno State to a 48-15 victory over Air Force and a share of the Mountain West Conference championship.

Carr set a single-game school record for highest completion percentage in hitting  28 of 32 passes (.875) against the Falcons. He also threw four touchdown passes. It was the third game this season Carr passed for more than 400 yards with at least four touchdowns, and he is one of only three quarterbacks in the nation to do that.

The three 400-yard passing games also is a Mountain West single-season record.

Carr has completed 68.1 percent of his 457 passes this season and has 36 touchdowns against five interceptions. He ended the regular season with 126 consecutive passes without an interception.


VIDEO: Fresno State QB Derek Carr on winning MWC title, returning for senior season

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr set a single-game school record for completion percentage in a 48-15 victory over the Air Force, completing 28 of 32 throws for 452 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to a share of the Mountain West Conference championship.

Afterward, cradling the championship trophy, he confirmed that he had decided to return to Fresno State for his senior season.

Carr can’t suppress his smile – or stop working on Air Force

Derek Carr, the Fresno State quarterback, still had the grin on his face.

Given the frigid temperatures in Reno last Saturday during the Bulldogs’ victory at Nevada, which kept them in control of their destiny in the Mountain West Conference race, it might be frozen there for a while.

‘’It was a blast, it really was. It was everything I dreamed of,’’ Carr said. ‘’Going into it, in my head, I knew it was the biggest game I’ll ever play in because the reason I came here is to win a conference championship and I got another chance at it.

”Just to be a part of the team, help the team win that game, and now we’re one game away … it meant the world to me.’’

But the giddiness didn’t stop the Bulldogs’ quarterback from flipping on tape of Air Force – beat the Falcons on Nov. 24 at Bulldog Stadium and Fresno State will have a share of a conference championship for the first since 1999. He took Sunday and Monday off to get some rest, but with a bye this week already has a big head start on a defense that is in the bottom half of the bowl subdivision in scoring defense (70th), passing efficiency defense (77th) and rushing defense (109th).

‘’I’ve already watched all the cutups for the formations. I got a head start on that.’’ Carr said. ‘’I saw some of their pressures and the coverages they play behind it. I’m sure they’ll have a wrinkle for us, every team does. But we’re ready to go.

‘’I’m glad I got two weeks to prepare. You give me two weeks, I’m going to try and know them the best that I can, to where I can probably try and play defense for them. That’s how I always want to get. I want to be able to know what each guy is thinking. That’s where I want to get. Now that I have two weeks, it’s easier, less stressful. I’ll probably watch that over and over again for the next two weeks.’’


Freshmen filling void at receiver for Fresno State, and on Tuesday they did it well

They have played some snaps in games, both Aaron Peck and Justin Johnson. And, it’s a good thing they have because this week at Nevada, the Fresno State Bulldogs are going to need both of their freshman receivers to make some plays.

Victor Dean is out for the season with a broken leg, Josh Harper has been dealing with a groin injury and Anthony Riggins with an ankle.

Peck has not yet caught a pass and Johnson has one reception for five yards, that coming last week in the Bulldogs’ victory over Hawaii.

But, offensive coordinator Dave Schramm said, they are ready for what is in front of them – on Saturday that will be a Wolf Pack secondary with three senior starters and six upperclassmen in the two-deep at the cornerback and safety spots.

‘’We’re going to need them both,’’ Schramm said. ‘’Again, it’s college football. A year ago they were in high school playing high school football. But it’s a position where it’s not like an offensive lineman where they’re overmatched physically.

”They’re athletic enough and they’re smart enough, so they can play out there and we expect those guys to play well on Saturday.’’

Both freshmen got first and second team reps in practice on Tuesday, and, as they have in spots here and there this season, both made an impression. Peck had one play where he got away from a corner in coverage, but it was the way that he did it that caught the attention of quarterback Derek Carr.

‘’He ran a route today and totally just threw the corner – freshmen just don’t do things like that,’’ Carr said. ‘’He ran his route, threw the corner, came back, caught the ball and sprinted 20 yards down the field.

”Just things like that, if he can continue to work hard and not let the lazy bug hit him, so to speak, which guys tend to do with a lot of talent and he has a lot of it. If he can just continue to work hard he’s going to be a special player.

‘’But my comfort level, I’m comfortable with both of them. Victor went down and they’re stepping up in practice. They did very good (Tuesday). They know their routes, they’re very smart. I was proud of them. But just getting them to play at a high level, because you have to grow up fast as a freshman, especially when you’re playing, I think they’re doing a great job and they’re looking good.’’

Hawaii Coach Norm Chow on ‘Dogs quarterback Derek Carr

Hawaii Coach Norm Chow knows a thing or two about quarterbacks – he coached six first-round NFL draft choices and three that won the Heisman Trophy in Ty Detmer at Brigham Young and Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC.

He had this to say about Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr on Tuesday on the Mountain West conference call: ‘’I think what really got me is how smart he was. He had time to throw the ball, he found the right guy, he found the right match ups and he made perfect throws. That first throw was lucky, everybody knows that. You know, he just heaved it. It was third-and-forever and he heaved it and our safety kind of got spun around. But the rest of the throws were tremendous. He’s a junior, I don’t have any idea what his future plans are, but he certainly would be a guy that would be a high-round draft choice. He knew where to go with the ball, and that’s exciting.’’