Monday Mailbag 7-21-14

Monday Mailbag is a new feature here to Bulldog Playbook. Each Monday we will answer your questions about Fresno State staff, players, football, and recruits.

Monday Mailbag is our chance to answer your questions about Fresno State football, recruiting, and its players. This Monday’s Mailbag features a lot of questions about Central Valley recruits, particularly Bakersfield. We also answer some questions about recruiting and the forthcoming new uniforms. Given the nature of the Mailbag, we ask that you understand some of the stuff you want to know is still in the beginning or planning stages, any information we may have is subject change. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it.

What’s the word on OL Bobby Johnson? Why isn’t he on campus?

Josh – I was able to speak to Bobby Johnson back around the middle of June. He told me that there were some class issues and that he would likely be around for fall camp. Jackson said he heard the class did not come through, but we have reached out to our sources and hope to have something more concrete by the next mailbag. For now, here’s what Johnson told me back in the middle of June.

"I was supposed to come there originally in fall camp," Johnson said. "Actually, the second summer session. But what happened was I ended up having to take a Spanish class. The class might not be available until the beginning of July. That would cause me not to be able to come for the second summer session. I would have to come in fall camp."

Has there been any progress on the Sweeney Center?

The Sweeney Center has yet to break ground as far as we know, but what we can share is that we will be getting a tour of Fresno State’s new athletic facilities and we plan to post video of that for you guys to check out. We’ve already worked out an arrangement with the school to get plenty of great shots of those facilities during our walk-around. You can expect that we will do the same with the Sweeney Center!

What’s the information on the new uniforms?

Jackson heard that they will be navy uniforms. My conversations with Paul Ladwig were much more cryptic and he wasn’t going to give up any of the goods. Luckily for us, they took place on air and we can post that conversation here for you guys to listen to and hear for yourselves

Any insight on Fresno recruiting in the Bakersfield area. The Kern County pipeline has been good to us, what is this staff doing to keep it going?

Jackson -- The Bulldogs don't have many known targets in Bakersfield at the moment, but we will take a closer look at the possible recruits in Kern County. Sheldon Croney is high on the Bulldogs recruiting board though it is yet to be seen if the interest is mutual. Anthony Mariscal of Liberty HS was high on the Bulldogs, but the coaching staff was still evaluating him and had other safeties higher on their board. Mariscal has since committed to Arizona. Fresno State has had many standout players come out of Bakersfield, but DeRuyter's staff has landed only Shannon Edwards and Brian Burrell from the area.

Josh – I’m hearing much as the same as Jackson. I did set up an interview with Zach Ewing of the Bakersfield Californian to discuss Sheldon Croney this week. The truth about Croney is that he doesn’t like to talk to the media. He is very closed off and rarely returns calls. You almost have to catch him on the spot to get information out of him. Some kids like to keep their recruiting close to the vest and only discuss it with family, Croney appears to be one of those guys. As for the rest of Bakersfield, Zach will be on later this week to share his thoughts about Fresno State’s recruiting of the area. You won’t want to miss that.

I have and I'm sure most of the Bulldogs fans on here are really excited about the direction CTD has taken us. I thought losing TMAC was huge in a lot of ways...coaching, his presence/life experiences and most of all his recruiting abilities. This staff does not close as well as PH did in his heyday, IMO. What do you make of this staffs ability to close kids and which coach has been making a name for himself in this regard on our staff?

Jackson -- Pat Hill closed on many, many recruits that made their way to the NFL whether they held those expectations out of high school or not. Tim DeRuyter has a lot more help on his staff than Hill did in years leading up to the coaching change. DeRuyter stresses a family atmosphere that all of his assistants are able to go out and convey. The coaching staff has only had to replace their secondary coach spot going into their third season. From talking to recruits, secondary assistant Jordan Peterson is often referred to. Nick Toth and Cameron Norcross have made a name for themselves as well in recruiting with their personalities. This staff has tried to establish a presence in bigger name high schools and in Texas as well. You should expect to see them close on more of those recruits in the coming classes as they create new pipelines for the program.

Josh – Recruiting in your area has always been somewhat important, but I believe the game has gone more national. You’re starting to see teams assemble a plethora of kids from all over the nation. While the Bulldogs might not be going after Bakersfield kids, they are making significant progress at California powerhouses like Serra. Putting a fence around your area is important, but it’s far more important that the increase their presence in Fresno before Bakersfield, and the staff has done that to a large degree. Bakersfield is no doubt an area that they plan to recruit, but I get the sense that this staff is really looking for the player to be the right fit rather than be from the right area. I hope that makes sense

We hope you enjoyed this week’s Monday Mailbag. Please be sure to leave us your questions throughout the week. As always, we need your questions to make this happen. Please be sure to tweet, email, and post your questions. Some of them may take us some time to find out the answer, but we are here to dig until we get some answers.

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