Boise State Salute to Fresno State

From its rich, fertile Joaquin Valley to its highly-regarded football and other sports teams, Fresno State has served its community, its academic mission and the nation with pride.

(Editor's Note:  This is part of a continuing series of tributes to WAC schools as Boise State completes its final season in the conference.  The series is meant to spread good will throughout the conference, highlight the rich heritage at member schools and to thank the WAC members for having Boise State in their conference for the last ten years.)

California State University, Fresno, is popularly known as Fresno State University. The campus is located at the northeast edge of Fresno, California, the fifth largest city in the state. Fresno is at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the San Joaquin Valley.

The campus sits at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the San Joaquin Valley. Fresno is the fifth largest city in California. The university is within an hour's drive of many mountain and lake resorts and within a three hour drive of both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Fresno State was founded as the Fresno State Normal School in 1911. The original campus was what is now Fresno City College; the first permanent structure, the Old Administration Building, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1921, Fresno State Normal School became Fresno State Teachers College and in 1934 it became Fresno State College. The current fight song was also penned that year. The first graduate degrees in English and Education were conferred in 1949.

In 1956, Fresno State moved its campus to its present location in the northeast part of the city. The school became a charter institution of the California State University System in 1961 and in 1972, the name was officially changed to California State University, Fresno.

The 388 acre campus features more than 46 buildings while an additional 34 structures are on the 1,011 acre University Farm, considered one of the best equipped agriculture facilities in the West. Fresno State is officially an arboretum and more than 4,000 trees are featured on campus. The school operates the first university-based commercial winery in the nation.

The library recently went through a $105 million renovation and now houses over one million books. The library has the largest installation of compact shelving on any single floor in the United States. It is one of the largest academic libraries between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Fresno campus today features the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, the College of Arts and Humanities, the Craig School of Business, the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, the College of Health and Human Serves, Lyles College of Engineering, the College of Science and Mathematics, the College of Social Sciences and the Division of Continuing and Global Education.

The Craig School of Business is widely recognized as one of the top business schools in the west. The Princeton Review ranks Fresno State as a top-45 business school nationwide and Fresno's Finance department was ranked #24. Both the Air Force and Army ROTC detachments are on campus. Air Force ROTC Detachment 35 is one of the oldest in the nation. Founded in 1949 after the signing of the National Defense Act of 1947 made the Air Force a separate armed force, Detachment 35 is one of the premier commissioning sources for ROTC in the country. Detachment 35 was honored as the best mid-sized detachment in the country when it received the "Right of Line" accreditation in 2008.

Fresno State has 32 nationally accredited departments and programs, among the highest number within the California State system. U.S. News & World Report ranked Fresno State 38th among the best Master's Universities in the West. The magazine also recognized Fresno State 17th in their Ranking of Rehabilitation Counseling Programs. Entrepreneur placed Fresno State in the Top 50 Entrepreneurial Colleges and Universities in the nation in its May 2004 issue.

The university also includes The Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning and the Kenneth L. Maddy Institute. The Richter Center promotes community service and represents Fresno State in activities that establish community-oriented partnerships. The Maddy Institute inspires citizen participation, elevates government performance by analyzing and assisting in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation. The Center for Irrigation Technology is an independent testing laboratory, applied research facility, and educational resource center. The Center advances water management practices and its programs cover four major areas: hydraulics testing, field research, analytical studies and special projects and education. The Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship assists students and community members in pursuit of entrepreneurial goals. The Lyles Center offers students applied learning, professional consulting and managed problem solving.

Notable Fresno State alumni and distinguished faculty:

Stephen Abas, Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling in 2004; 3-time NCAA champion

Armen A. Alchian, Professor Emeritus, Founder of the "UCLA Tradition" in Economics

Rafer Alston, NBA point guard for the New Jersey Nets

Erika Aure, Director of Nursing in the Philippines, recipient of the Presidential award for outstanding achievement in the field of excellence by the Philippines Board of Health

Theresa Alvillar-Speake, Director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact for the United States Department of Energy

Marvin Baxter, California Supreme Court Justice

Robert Beltran, actor, Commander Chakotay of the Star Trek USS Voyager

Laura Berg, three-time Olympic gold medalist for the USA softball team

Bernard Berrian, NFL wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings; played in Super Bowl XLI with the Chicago Bears

Gene Bluestein, author and folk musician

William Boyanjian, former President of the Gemological Institute of America

Lee P. Brown, former Mayor of Houston, former New York Police Commissioner

Ezunial Burts, President of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce

Cruz Bustamante, California Lieutenant Governor

Sara Carden, leading Metallurgist, bedlamite riveter

David Carr, San Francisco 49'ers quarterback, 1st overall NFL draft pick in the 2002 Draft by the Houston Texans

Duane Carter, former Indianapolis 500 racer

Ron Catalano, musician

Daniel Chacon, University professor, acclaimed essayist, playwright and fiction writer

Malinda Chouinard, owner of Patagonia, one of the world's foremost designers of outdoor clothing and gear

Noreen Corcoran, actress

Joy Covey, former Chief Strategy Officer for

Ron Cox, former NFL linebacker with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers; NCAA sacks leader

Sid Craig, CEO, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Jenny Craig, Inc.

Dr. John Crossley, Recreation Professor, world-renowned recreation professional and author

Dr. Joseph Crowley, President Emeritus at the University of Nevada

Dr. James M. Cypher, Senior Economics Professor; expert on economic development in Latin America

Nat DiBuduo, President of Allied Grape Growers of California

Trent Dilfer, former NFL quarterback and Super Bowl champion as a member of the Baltimore Ravens

Robert G. Dundas, paleontologist and expert in flannel fashion

Henry Ellard, former NFL great wide receiver

Alex Espinoza, Professor of Creative Writing, author of Still Water Saints

William Everson, poet

Lillian Faderman, MFA, English professor emeritus; acclaimed author David Fillpot, Presi

dent of Alaras Software, enterprise software development

Jethro Franklin, NFL assistant coach for the Houston Texans; former NFL player

Kenneth Fugelsang, Fresno State Winemaster, leads world-renowned enology program

Major General Jon Gallinetti, Commander, Joint Warfighting Center, and Director of Joint Training, J-7, U.S. Joint Forces Command

Geoffrey Gamble, President of Montana State University

Augie Garrido, University of Texas baseball coach

Matt Garz, Major League Baseball pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays

Dr. Gary P. Gilroy, Music Professor and Department Chair; noted composer for both marching and concert bands

Dan Gladden, former MLB outfielder

Tom Goodwin, former MLB outfielder, former NCAA steals leader

Kirk D. Grimes, Executive of Energy & Chemicals at Fluor Corporation

Kenny Guinn, Governor of Nevada

Victor Davis Hanson, founder of Classics Department; historian, essayist, columnist and television personality; author of Mexifornia and Carnage and Culture

Eric W. Hickey, Criminology Professor, noted criminologist and author

Rod Higgins, General Manger of the Golden State Warriors

Richard Douglas Husband, mission commander of the space shuttle Columbia

Sam Jacobellis, retired CEO of Rockwell International, led the development of the B1 bomber

Adam Jennings, NFL wide receiver with the Detroit Lions

Dr. Lan Jin, Computer Science Professor, expert in parallel design processors

Bobby Jones, former MLB pitcher, 1991 NCAA Player of the Year

Dot Marie Jones, Hollywood actress

Lane Kiffin, Head football coach at USC; former Tennessee Volunteers Head Coach; former Oakland Raiders Head Coach; former USC Offensive Coordinator, former Fresno State quarterback

Emily Kuroda, award-winning actress

Philip Levine, English professor; widely-known poet and Pulitzer Prize winner

Brad Lewis, producer of Ratatouille

Janet Nichols Lynch, author

Robin Mackin, pitcher for the Canadian National Softball Team, represented Canada in the 2008 summer Olympics

Roger Mahony, social work; Roman Catholic Cardinal and Archbishop of Los Angeles

Logan Mankins, NFL offensive lineman for the New England Patriots, a first-round draft choice in 2005

Mike Martz, former NFL head coach of the St. Louis Rams and current offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears

Ryan Mathews, 2010 NFL Draft first-round selection and the 12th overall pick; running back for the San Diego Chargers

Christopher Miles, calcitrater of tires Colonel Steven Nagel, NASA astronaut

Lorenzo Neal, former NFL fullback; three-time Pro Bowler

Frank Nersesian, Raisin Administrative Committee Thomas Nixon, author

Paul O'Neill, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, CEO of Alcoa Corporation

Daniel Paz, California's leading radiological researcher

Sam Peckinpah, film director

Terry Pendleton, former star MLB third baseman; 1991 National League Most Valuable Player for the Atlanta Braves

Dr. Christopher J. Pluhar, Paleomagnetism expert; Earth and Environmental Sciences Department

Dr. Norval Pohl, former President of the University of North Texas

Dr. Keith Putirka, Geology professor, expert volcanologist

Juan Serrano, Music professor; noted master of guitar in the flamenco style

Pauly Shore, actor and comedian

Dr. Manuchehr Shahrokhi, Founding Editor of the Global Finance Journal in 1989; author and scholar

Gary Soto, acclaimed poet, essayist and fiction writer

Jamie Southern, Team USA national softball pitcher

Sribala Subramanian, journalist for Times Magazine Kevin Sutherland, PGA Tour golfer, won 2002 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship

Kevin Sweeney, former NCAA record-setter in career passing yards and former NFL quarterback

Jerry Tarkanian, legendary basketball coach at Fresno State, UNLV and San Antonio Spurs; won NCAA basketball championship at UNLV

Roger Tatarian, journalism; Editor-In-Chief of United Press International (deceased)

Jeff Tedford, Head football coach for the University of California

Bruce Thornton, Humanities and Classics; notable author

Cornelius Warmerdam, former pole vault world record holder

Dr. John Wakabayashi, Geology professor; expert in Sierra Nevada orogeny and the brewing sciences

Nick Watney, PGA Tour golfer, NCAA All-American; 2007 Zurich New Orleans champion

Jeff Weaver, MLB pitcher

Sherley Anne Williams, author, National Book Award nominee, Emmy Award winner

When Fresno State was choosing its school colors, the women's teams favored blue while the men's teams wanted red and white. The school decided to choose cardinal and navy blue as a compromise. The bulldog mascot was chosen in 1921, when a white bulldog appeared on campus and immediately took to the student body president and his friends.

The athletic department sponsors 18 teams. The Bulldogs have captured two national championships—a softball title in 1998 and a baseball championship two years ago.

Fresno State's baseball team has made four trips to the College World Series. On June 25, 2008, the Bulldogs defeated Georgia to win the 2008 College World Series. Beiden Field, the home of the Bulldog baseball team, was formerly used by the San Francisco Giants' Pacific Coast League AAA farm team from 1998-2001. Beiden Field is recognized as a top-25 NCAA baseball facility. Fresno State's softball team is a perennial national power. The Lady Bulldogs downed #1 Arizona 1-0 in the 1998 NCAA championship game in Oklahoma City. Arizona came into that game with a 67-3 overall record. Fresno State is the nation's only softball team to have received bids to all 29 Division I championship tournaments. Fresno State earned a spot in five championship games (1984, 1988, 1989, 1990 and the 1998 game which it won) and 12 berths in the College World Series. Coach Margie Wright is the nation's winningest Division 1 coach.

The Fresno football program began in 1921 as an independent. The Bulldogs joined the California Coast Conference and moved to the Northern California Athletic Conference as a charter member in 1925. The conference laid the foundation for the rivalry with San Jose State and the Bulldogs later added Nevada and San Diego State to their schedule. The NCAA began classifying schools into University Division and College Division groups in 1937 and the Bulldogs, along with other major schools of the Northern California Athletic Conference broke off into the California Collegiate Athletic Association in 1939. Fresno played their early games at Fresno City College's Radcliffe Stadium, which had a capacity of 13,000. The Bulldogs joined the Pacific Coast Athletic Association in 1969. The PCAA became the Big West Conference in 1988.

Fresno State left for the Western Athletic Conference in 1992 and will join the Mountain West Conference in 2012.

Cecil Coleman coached the Bulldogs to a 76% winning percentage and led the 1961 team to an undefeated season that culminated in a 36-6 Mercy Bowl win over Bowling Green. Fresno State played again in the Mercy Bowl in 1971 but when Jim Sweeney took over the program in 1976, the Bulldogs took off. Sweeney promptly took the 1977 team to a 9-2 record.

A new stadium was constructed in time for the 1980 season. The stadium held over 30,000 fans and alumni support skyrocketed. The upgrade was a catalyst for the growth of the program, as the Bulldogs soon captured four Big West championships and five California Bowl appearances. Coach Sweeney led Fresno State to nine consecutive winning seasons, including five of 10 wins or more. They were 11-1 in 1983 with a win over Bowling Green in the California Bowl. Sweeney's 1985 team finished as the nation's only unbeaten team but was ranked only 16th in the coaches' poll. The only blemish on their schedule was a 24-24 tie against Hawai'i. The Bulldogs finished the year with a repeat win over Bowling Green in the California Bowl. Fresno was 10-2 in 1988 and 11-1 in 1989, with back-to-back California Bowl wins over Western Michigan and Ball State, respectively. Fresno State appeared in the 1991 California Bowl, the 1992 Freedom Bowl against USC and the 1993 Aloha Bowl vs. Hawai'i.

Pat Hill is the Head Coach of the 2010 Bulldog football team, leader of the program since 1997. Fresno State has shared three WAC titles; in 1992 and 1993 under Coach Jim Sweeney and in 1999 under Hill. In 2001, Fresno State began their season with upsets in Boulder against eventual Big 12 champion Colorado (24-22), against Sports Illustrated preseason #1 Oregon State (44-24) and in Madison over Wisconsin (32-20). These impressive victories catapulted the Bulldogs to a #8 national ranking. Quarterback David Carr was chosen as the #1 selection in the 2002 NFL Draft.

Fresno State has a 10-8 record against so-called "BCS teams" (teams from a group that put themselves in charge of NCAA football), the most of any program not in a "BCS" conference. Hill's philosophy of anyone, anywhere, anytime has garnered attention for the Fresno State program. Fresno State is the only non-AQ team (from a "non-qualifying BCS conference") to win three consecutive bowl games over schools from "BCS" conferences. The Bulldogs downed Georgia Tech 30-21 in the Silicon Valley Classic, defeated UCLA 17-9 in the Silicon Classic and culminated their streak with a 37-34 win in overtime over Virginia in the MPC Computer Bowl in Boise, Idaho. The team often travels between 10,000-20,000 miles during the football season.

The Bulldogs began the 2004 season by going into Seattle and defeating Washington 35-16. They followed that victory by taking on the defending Big 12 champion Kansas State Wildcats. Fresno State conquered yet another Goliath 45-21 to earn another national ranking.

The following season, Fresno State rebounded from an early 3-point loss to Oregon in Eugene with seven straight wins, including the first Bulldog victory at Hawai'i in 11 years and a 27-7 pasting of Boise State. #16 Fresno then took on #1 USC. Running backs Wendel Mathis and Bryson Sumlin traded touchdown runs with eventual Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush. Fresno State grabbed the lead at halftime but USC prevailed in a wild back-and-forth affair 50-42.

The 2006 Fresno State team won 8 of their final 10 games, including a win over Georgia Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl.

The green "V" featured on Fresno State uniforms is a tribute to the agricultural community of the San Joaquin Valley, the world's richest agricultural area in export dollars. Hill instituted the "V" on the back of the helmets as a way of integrating the school and the community. The tradition was later adopted by the school's other programs.

I'm going to get this count wrong, but I found 142 former Bulldogs that went on to the NFL.

Notable former Bulldogs:

Wide receiver Stephen Baker averaged 26.3 yards per catch in his short career (1985-86) to set a Bulldog record. He was an All-PCAA performer in 1985 and 1986 and All-Coast in 1986. Stephen played in the 1986 Blue-Gray Game and the Japan Bowl.

Baker was selected in the 3rd Round of the 1987 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, who Baker played for through 1992. He had 40 receptions for 656 yards (16.4 avg.) and 7 touchdowns (9th in the NFL) in 1988, his best NFL season. In his career, Baker was credited with 141 catches for 2,587 (18.3 avg.) and 21 touchdowns and had 8 punt returns for a 6.3 average.

Wide receiver Bernard Berrian had 85 receptions (#2 all-time) for1,364 yards (third all-time) and 13 touchdowns in 2001; that was the same year that Rodney Wright had 104. Berrian had 63 receptions (9th all-time) for 668 yards and 4 TD's in 2003. Berrian finished his stellar Bulldog career with 199 catches for 2,849 yards. He is the school record holder with 5,826 career all-purpose yards and is a co-record holder with 25 career receiving touchdowns. He holds another mark with 12 100-yard receiving games in his career (1999-2003). Bernard is 7th in Fresno history with a 23.1 career kickoff return average and also 7th with an 11.6 punt return average.

Berrian was named All-WAC in 2001 and in 2003, he was honored All-WAC as both a wide receiver and return specialist. In 2004, Berrian played in the East-West Shrine Game.

Berrian was selected in the 3rd Round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. Berrian became a starter in his third season with Chicago, but was traded to Minnesota in 2008. Bernard had 51 catches for 775 yards (15.2 avg.) and 6 touchdowns in 2006 and his best season with 71 receptions for 991 yards and 5 scores in 2007. Berrian had 48 catches for 964 and 7 touchdowns for a superb 20.4 avg. (#2 in the NFL) in 2008 that included a 99-yard reception. He followed that up with 55 receptions for 618 yards and 4 touchdowns with the Vikings in 2009 but has not started this season.

In his seven-year career to date, Berrian has 271 catches for 3,955 (14.6 avg.) and 24 TD's. He sported a 22.6 average on kickoff returns his rookie season but oddly has not been used since in that role. Berrian has 24 punt returns in his career for a 9.0 average.

Wide receiver Reggie Brown earned a 2nd Round NFL Draft pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. Brown was chosen by the Philadelphia Eagles and earned playing time immediately, getting 43 catches for 571 yards and 4 touchdowns his rookie season. Reggie gathered in 46 passes for 816 yards (17.7 avg., 7th in the NFL) and 8 TD's (10th in the league) in 2006 and 61 passes for 780 and 4 touchdowns the following season. In his career, Brown has177 catches for 2,574 yards and 17 touchdowns and has also rushed 11 times for 68 yards and another score.

Quarterback David Carr threw for 7,849 yards and 70 touchdowns in his fabled Bulldog career. Carr holds numerous school records. He had 344 completions, 4,839 passing yards, 46 touchdown passes and 4,906 yards of total offense in 2001, all Fresno State records. Carr holds the career completion percentage mark at 62.8% (587-934) and the total offense record for a season with 4,906 in 2001. Carr also ranks 9th for 2,729 passing yards in 2000. David was a 2nd-team All-American in 2001. He was named All-WAC and Offensive Player of the Year in 2001. Carr played in the 2002 Senior Bowl.

Carr was the overall #1 selection in the 2002 NFL Draft, the choice of the Houston Texans. Carr was 233 for 444 (52.5%) for 2,592 yards and 9 touchdowns in his rookie season. Carr blossomed in 2004 when he connected on 285-of-466 passes (61.2%) for 3,531 yards and 16 scores. David enjoyed his best season in 2006, hitting 302-442 (68.3%) for 2,767 yards and 11 touchdowns. He ranked ninth in the NFL in 2008 with 302 completions and led the league with his 68.3% passing percentage. He was promptly traded to Carolina, moved to the New York Giants and is currently with San Francisco. Carr is 1,351-2,264 in his career (59.7%) for 14,433 yards and 65 touchdowns. He has also rushed 302 times for 1,331 yards (4.4 avg.) and 9 touchdowns.

Linebacker Ron Cox continues to hold the school record with an incredible seven sacks in one game (vs. Cal Fullerton in 1989). Cox finished with 28 that season and recorded 50 in his career, both records as well. Ron was an All-Coast Conference player in both 1988 and 1989 and 2nd-team All-America selection in 1989.

Cox was chosen in the 2nd Round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears; he played through 1997 with Chicago and also Green Bay. Cox totaled 237 career tackles, including a high of 56 in 1992. Cox added a fumble recovery and an interception.

Running back Aaron Craver gained 2,316 yards in his college career on 475 carries (4.9 avg.) for 26 touchdowns. Craver is the co-record holder with 8 100-yard games in 1989 and with 17 touchdowns in the 1990 season. Craver is 4th for rushing yards in a season with 1,313 in 1989. Aaron earned All-Big West Conference honors in 1989 and 1990. He played in the 1990 East-West Shrine Game, the Japan Bowl and the Hula Bowl.

Craver was the 3rd-round choice of the Miami Dolphins in the 1991 NFL Draft. Craver played with Miami through the 1994 season, then traveled to Denver, San Diego and New Orleans. Craver's best season was 1995 with Denver, when he carried 73 times for 333 yards (4.6 avg.) and 5 TD's. Aaron was always a good receiver out of the backfield, but especially so that year, when he had 43 catches for 369 yards and a score.

In his nine-year NFL career, Craver had 243 carries for 966 yards (4.0 avg.) and 10 touchdowns on the ground with 170 receptions for 1,364 yards and 4 more scores. Craver also had 58 kickoff returns for a 19.3 average.

Quarterback Trent Dilfer was 511-865 (59.1%) for 7,631 yards and 53 TD's in his Fresno State career. He was an All-WAC player in both 1992 and 1993 (earning Offensive Player of the Year honors his senior year), a second-team All-American in 1982 and a third-team selection in 1983.

Dilfer is the school record holder with a nice 167.3 passing efficiency rating in 1993. Trent holds another school mark by going 318 passes without an interception in 1993. He is 2nd to David Carr for passing yards in a season with 3,799 in 1993 and 5th with an even 3,000 in 1992. Trent is one of five players to have his number (12) retired.

Dilfer was selected in the 1st round (sixth overall pick) of the 1994 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Trent became a starter in his second NFL season when he was 224-415 for 2,774 yards and 4 touchdowns. Dilfer was particularly effective in a Pro Bowl 1997 campaign, when he connected on 217 of 386 passes for 2,555 yards and 21 touchdowns (6th in the NFL). He later played with Baltimore, guiding the Ravens to the championship in Super Bowl XXXV, and then with Seattle, Cleveland and San Francisco. Dilfer finished his career 1,759-3,172 (55.0%) for 20,518 yards and 113 touchdowns and rushed for 853 yards and 5 TD's.

Wide receiver David Dunn holds the school mark with a 26.9 career kickoff return average (1993-1994). He earned WAC Special Teams Player of the Year and second-team All-America honors in 1994. David played in the 1994 East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl following his senior year at Fresno State.

Dunn has done a little bit of everything since being drafted in the 5th Round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He was a spot starter and reserve receiver for Cincinnati with his best season being 1996 when he hauled in 32 passes for 509 yards and a touchdown. His biggest contribution was his return ability, averaging over 20 yards per kickoff return in each of his seven NFL seasons. Dunn had a 25.6 average (4th in the NFL) in 1997 with the Bengals and a 25.0 average (10th in the league) the following season with their division rival Pittsburgh. David played his last two seasons in Oakland; in 2000 he sported a 12.4 punt return average and a 24.4 kickoff return average (9th) including one taken the distance.

Dunn gathered in 91 passes for 1,264 yards and 4 scores as a receiver, had 38 punt returns for a 9.1 career average and 198 kickoff returns for a 23.1 average and two touchdowns.

The great wide receiver Henry Ellard amazed Bulldog fans with 62 catches for 1,510 yards, a record 24.4 average, and a record 15 touchdowns in 1982. 138 catches for 2,947 career yards. Ellard averaged 36.8 yards per catch (6 for 221 yards) in a game in 1982, another school record. He went eight games with at least one TD catch in 1982 and finished the year with 9 100-yard games for two more records. Henry holds the school mark 25 career receiving touchdowns from 1982-85. He also went 34 consecutive games with at least one catch.

Ellard was an All-PCAA player in 1981 and 1982, and All-Coast and second-team All-American in his senior season. Henry played in the East-West Shrine Game in 1982. Ellard (#83) is one of five Bulldogs to have their number retired

Ellard was chosen in the 2nd Round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. Ellard made an immediate impression and was a starter from the second year of his career through 1993 for the Rams and from 1994-1997 for Washington. In 1984, Ellard had 34 receptions for 622 yards (18.3 avg.) and 6 touchdowns to earn a spot in the Pro Bowl in only his second season. He caught 54 passes for 811 yards and 5 TD's the following season. Henry enjoyed his best season in 1988 when he had 86 grabs (2nd in the NFL) for a league-leading 1,414 yards (16.4 avg.) and 10 scores (third in the league) in another Pro Bowl season. He also averaged 13.6, 13.4 and 13.5 his first three seasons as a punt returner for the Rams.

Ellard had 70 receptions for 1,382 yards (4th in the league), a fantastic 19.7 average (2nd in the NFL) and 8 TD's in 1989 and 76 grabs (4th in the NFL) for 1,294 yards, (17.0) and 4 TD's in 1990. He had four other 1,000-yard receiving seasons: 1,052 on 64 catches 1,397 yards in 1991, 74 receptions for 1,394 yards (18.9 avg., 4th in the league) in 1994, 56 catches for 1,005 yards (17.9 avg., 5th in the NFL) in 1995 and he snared 52 passes for 1,014 yards in 1996 with a league-leading 19.5 yards per catch. Henry is 4th all-time at Frseno State with 4,152 career all-purpose yards.

Ellard was a three-time Pro Bowler (1984, 1988 and 1989), making All-Pro in 1984 and 1988. Ellard started 199 games and played in 228 in his outstanding NFL career. His statistics are mind-boggling—814 receptions (#22 in NFL history) for13,777 yards (9th all-time), a career 16.9 yards-per-catch average, and 65 receiving touchdowns (40th in the history of the league). Henry returned 135 punts for a nice 11.3 average and had 19 kickoff returns for a 19.2 average. Ellard's all-purpose yards total 15,718, which ranks #17 in NFL history.

Wide receiver Malcolm Floyd has played with the San Diego Chargers since 2004. He is really coming into his own with 45 catches for 776 yards for a 17.2 average (4th in the NFL) last season and similar results so far this year. He has 121 career receptions for 2,110 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Safety Vernon Fox is the 7th leading tackler in Bulldog history with 289 career stops from 1998-2001. Vernon was an All-WAC performer in 2000 and 2001.

Fox has logged 14 starts over an eight-year period in the NFL with San Diego, Detroit, Washington and Denver. He has 113 tackles, 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery for a touchdown in his career.

Defensive back Cory Hall had 264 career tackles in Fresno from 1995-1998, good for 10th place all-time. He played in the 1998 East-West Shrine Game following his senior year. Hall was the third-round selection of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1999 NFL Draft. Hall started 70 games for the Bengals and later Atlanta through 2004. Cory finished his career with 214 tackles, a forced fumble, 3 recoveries and 3 interceptions.

Defensive lineman Orlando Huff was chosen in the 4th Round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks and played in the NFL through the 2006 season. Huff's playing time increased, to the point where he was a full-time starter in 2004. That season, Orlando had 41 tackles and two fumble recoveries. The following year, Huff was traded to Arizona, where he was credited with 50 and 58 tackles respectively.

In his career, Orlando racked up 203 tackles, a safety, 3 fumble recoveries and 2 interceptions.

Wide receiver Charlie Jones had 71 catches for 1,171 yards (6th all-time), a 16.5 average, and 9 touchdowns in 1995. Jones recorded 187 career catches in Fresno and holds career records for receiving yards with 3,344 and for 25 receiving touchdowns from 1992-1995. Jones was All-WAC in both 1994 and 1995 and played in the East-West Shrine Game following his senior year.

Jones was chosen by the San Diego Chargers in the 4th Round of the 1996 NFL Draft. Jones had three good seasons with the Chargers before retiring in 1999. He had 41 catches for 524 yards and 4 touchdowns in his rookie year, 32 grabs for 423 yards and a touchdown in 1997 and 46 receptions for 699 yards and 3 TD's in 1998. Jones tallied 129 career receptions for 1,736 yards and 9 touchdowns and also rushed 9 times for 73 yards.

Guard Logan Mankins was an All-WAC and second-team All-American for Fresno State in 2004. He played in the Senior Bowl as well as the East-West Shrine Game following his senior season. Mankins was selected in the 1st Round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. Logan made the Pro Bowl in both 2007 and 2009.

Defensive back Richard Marshall holds the school record with three interceptions returned for touchdowns in his career(2003-2005). He is 10th all-time with 9 career interceptions.

Marshall was chosen in the 2nd Round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. Marshall has played five seasons with Carolina and was a full-time starter last year. He had 70 tackles, 4 fumble recoveries (3rd in the NFL) and 3 interceptions his rookie season. In 2007, Richard had 79 stops, 2 fumble recoveries and an interception. In 2009, Marshall had 70 tackles, 2 recoveries and 4 interceptions.

In his career, Marshall has 314 tackles, 8 recoveries and 13 interceptions. He also has 14 kickoff returns for a 20.8 average

Running back Ryan Mathews was taken in the 1st Round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, the 12th player chosen. Mathews has 87 carries for 382 yards in a reserve role; he has a 4.4 average and 2 rushing touchdowns. Mathews also had 15 receptions for 92 yards.

Running back Dale Messer, a 1960 graduate, had 9.9 speed. In addition to running the ball, he also punted and handled placekicking duties. Messer led the Bulldogs in rushing with 811 yards, receiving with 30 catches, scoring (108) points), punt returns and kickoff returns his senior year. He also returned three interceptions for 28 yards, punted for a 34.6 average and was 3-6 in passing for 2 touchdowns. In his career, Messer rushed for nearly 2,000 yards, scoring 31 TD's and leading the Bulldogs to three straight conference titles. Messer was a three-time all-conference selection and two-time All-American. Messer played in the East-West Shrine Game following his senior season. Messer (#21) is one of five former Bulldogs to have their number retired. He later played for the San Francisco 49'34s (1961-1965).

Fullback Lorenzo Neal had 487 carries at Fresno State for 2,405 yards and 27 touchdowns. He earned All-Big West honors each of his last two seasons. He also placed seventh at the 1993 NCAA Wrestling Tournament in the heavyweight class. Following his senior season, Neal played in the East-West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl and Japan Bowl All-Star Game in 1992, and defeated a sumo wrestler in an exhibition match at halftime of the Japan Bowl!

Neal was chosen in the 4th Round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He was active through 2008, used primarily as a blocker and receiver out of the backfield. Lorenzo gained a reputation as a hard-nosed player who did whatever he was asked with maximum effort. He was one of the top blocking fullbacks in the history of the league, blocking for a 1,000-yard rusher in 11 straight seasons (1997-2007). Neal had 21 rushes for 175 yards (8.3 avg.) and a touchdown his rookie season. He proved his versatility with 31 receptions for 194 yards and a touchdown in 1996 with New Orleans. Since that season, Neal played with the New York Jets, Tennessee, Cincinnati, San Diego and Baltimore.

Lorenzo was selected to four Pro Bowls (2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007) and was a three-time All-Pro. Neal has 226 career rushes for 807 yards and 6 touchdowns and 199 catches for 1,086 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Wide receiver Stephone Paige played with the Kansas City Chiefs from 1983-1991 and began to work his way into the starting lineup in 1985. That season, Paige had 43 catches for 943 yards, a league-leading 21.9 average and 10 TD's. Stephone continued to be a deep threat for the Chiefs, grabbing 52 passes for 829 in 1986, 43 for 707 (16.4 avg.) and 4 touchdowns in 1987 and 61 for 902 and 7 trips to the end zone (7th in the league) in 1988. In 1989, Paige had 44 for 759 for a 17.3 average and 2 TD's and then exploded in 1990 for his first and only 1,000-yard receiving season (65 receptions for 1,021 yards (8th in the NFL) and 5 touchdowns).

In his NFL career, Paige had 377 catches for 6,341 (16.8 average) and 49 TD's. He also had 29 kickoff returns for a 20.0 average.

Running back Michael Pittman had 647 career carries for 3,017 yards and 29 touchdowns at Fresno. Pittman continues to hold the all-time record for rushes in a game, when the workhorse Fresno back carried 39 times in a narrow 30-27 loss to Oregon, as well as the all-time record for career rushes with 647. Michael is the 2nd leading rusher in Bulldog history with 3,017 career yards. He ranks 7th for rushing yards in a season with 1,132 in 1996. Michael was All-WAC in 1997 and played in the 1997 Senior Bow, the 1997 Blue-Gray Gamel and the 1998 East-West Shrine Game.

Pittman was drafted in the 4th Round of the 1998 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Pittman became a starter in his third season with the Cardinals, when he rushed 184 times for 719 yards (3.9 avg.) and 4 touchdowns and had 73 receptions for 579 yards and 2 more scores. Pittman was over 700 rushing yards in each of the next four seasons as well, with his peak year being 2001 (241 carries for 846 yards and 5 touchdowns). Michael continued to be a receiving threat out of the backfield, grabbing 75 passes for 597 yards in 2003.

In his NFL career, Pittman had 1,392 rushes for 5,627 yards (4.0 avg.) and 25 touchdowns. He also had 425 receptions for 3,512 and 8 TD's and 54 kickoff returns for a 22.7 average. Pittman is currently with Florida in the United Football League.

Defensive back Marquez Pope is 6th in career tackles at Fresno State with 290 from 1988-1992 and 7th all-time with 11 career interceptions. Marquez was chosen All-Big West in 1989 and was the conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 1990. He played in the 1991 East-West Shrine Game and the Hula Bowl following his senior season.

Pope was chosen in the 2nd Round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He also played with the Rams, San Francisco, Cleveland and Oakland. Pope was brilliant in his second season, racking up 81 tackles with 2 forced fumbles and 3 interceptions. In 1996 with San Francisco, he had 61 tackles, a forced fumble with the recovery and 6 interceptions (4th in the NFL) that he returned for 98 yards and a touchdown. Pope's five fumble recoveries in 2000 ranked second in the NFL. Pope had 470 career tackles, 9 forced fumbles, 6 recoveries and 19 interceptions.

Running back Ron Rivers continues to hold the career rushing record with 3,473 yards despite only playing three seasons in Fresno. Rivers averaged 6.6 yards per carry in his career, another school record. Ron is #3 with 4,388 career all-purpose yards and is a co-record holder with Dwayne Wright and Aaron Craver; all had 8 100-yard games in a season (Ron achieved the feat in 1993.) Ron is #2 all-time with 1,477 rushing yards in 1993. He rushed for 28 touchdowns in his Bulldog career. Ron was named All-Big West in 1991 and All-WAC in 1993. He played in the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl in 1993.

Defensive lineman Bryan Robinson has 154 career starts in the NFL with St. Louis, Chicago, Miami, Cincinnati and his current team, Arizona. He has 307 career tackles and 2 fumble recoveries.

Safety James Sanders was drafted in the 4th Round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He had 52 tackles, a fumble recovery and 2 interceptions in 2007. So far, Sanders has 188 tackles, 4 fumble recoveries and 6 interceptions in his professional career.

Running back Clifton Smith holds the school record with an 18.7 career punt return average (25-465); Smith once returned two punts for touchdowns in the same game.

Smith has been a top return specialist for Tampa Bay and Miami in the NFL since 2008. Smith averaged 14.1 (2nd in the NFL) and 10.1 in punt returns and sported kickoff return averages of 27.6 (5th in the NFL) and 29.1 (2nd in the league) in 2008 and 2009 respectively. He scored touchdowns in punt returns and kickoff returns in 2008 and was honored with a selection to the Pro Bowl.

Defensive back Michael Stewart was picked by Los Angeles in the 8th Round of the 1987 NFL Draft. Stewart played with the Rams through 1993 and Miami from 1994-96. He had 60 tackles in 1988, 72 in 1989, 81 in 1991, 74 in 1993 and 75 in 1994. In his career, Stewart had 557 tackles, 6 forced fumbles, 10 recoveries and 11 interceptions including a pick six.

Defensive back Omar Stoutmire holds the school record with 24 tackles in a game against Utah in 1995 and the career record with an incredible 458 from 1993-1996.

Stoutmire was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 7th Round of the 1997 NFL Draft. He saw considerable action with Dallas, the Jets and the Giants through 2003 and finished up his career with Washington and New Orleans. Stoutmire had 70 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and an interception in 2002 as a full-time starter for the Giants. In his career, Omar had 307 stops, 6 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries and 7 interceptions including a pick six. He also brought back 14 kicks for a 19.6 average.

Running back Derrick Ward was chosen in the 7th Round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He gained 602 yards on 125 carries (4.8 avg., 10th in the league) and scored 3 touchdowns in 2007 and went over 1,000 yards in 2007 (1,025 yards on 182 carries for a league-leading 5.6 average and 2 touchdowns) despite only starting three games. Ward also had 41 catches for 384 yards in 2007. Derrick also led the NFL with a 27.3-yard average on kickoff returns in his rookie season and a 20.3 average last year.

Running back Dwayne Wright finished his Fresno State career with 2,683 rushing yards on 501 carries (5.4 avg.) and 16 touchdowns. Wright is the all-time record holder for yards in a game, when he rumbled for 295 against Louisiana Tech in 2006. He also is a co-record holder with 8 100-yard games that season. Wright is 3rd all-time for rushing in a season with 1,462 yards in 2006. He played in the 2002 East-West Shrine Game.

Wide receiver Rodney Wright had 74 catches (6th all-time) for 1,062 (7th in school history) and 7 touchdowns in 1999. Wright hauled in 104 receptions for 1,630 yards in 2001, both school records, with 12 touchdowns. He is also the career leader with 222 catches from 1998-2001 and is 2nd with 3,274 career receiving yards. Rodney was spectacular in the 2001 Silcon Valley Bowl against Michigan State, when he blitzed the Spartan secondary for 299 yards, another Wright record. Wright also holds the mark with 1,630 receiving yards in that 2001 season. Rodney is 2nd all-time with 4,425 career all-purpose yards. Wright was named All-WAC in 1999. He was selected to play in the 2002 Gridiron Classic Game.

Congratulations Fresno State, for your many great achievements since you first opened your doors in 1911. Those doors have provided hundreds of thousands of students the opportunity to learn, to grow, to become better citizens, and reach their lifetime goals. Boise State is proud to call you a conference member, both now and in the future!

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