Fresno State Extends Offer to Upland CA WR

Gary Theard received a surprise phone call right before he laced up his cleats for football practice at Upland High on July 12: a call from a Mountain West program regarding a scholarship offer.

“Fresno State offered me today right before I had practice around 1:00 p.m., Theard said, who now has 12 reported offers. The wide receiver/safety added “The conversation went real well. It was nice and fluid and it was pretty straight forward about the offer. They were telling me how I would fit in their scheme and they would love for me to come and visit up there, especially because it’s only about a four hour drive from my house. They love the way I play the game with my physical play and lateral movement.”

Theard, who is listed as a 3-star prospect, does damage both ways for the traditional Southern California powerhouse not only known for producing Tyler Hillinski (Washington State), Kenny Lawler (Cal, Seattle Seahawks) and JoJo Mathis (Washington), but also getting an elevation recently from CIF to play in the Division I field with the likes of Corona (Calif.) Centennial, Bellflower-St. John Bosco and Santa Ana-Mater Dei.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder said the Bulldogs like his dexterity at safety.

“They are recruiting me as a defensive player, which is where I want to play in college,” Theard said.

He cites new offensive line coach Mark Weber as his main recruiter. Theard, who tallied 53 tackles and one interception last season for Upland, said he likes two key aspects regarding Fresno State, including two revered ex-Bulldogs.

“The things that stick out is how close it is to my home in So Cal and how my family will be able to attend the home games, which is huge. Also, I look at the success of Derek Carr and Ryan Mathews, who went to Fresno State and are currently in the NFL today,” Theard said.

Utah, Air Force, Colorado State, Hawaii and Nevada are among the other college teams trying to court Theard through its scholarship paper that was sent to him. The 4.0 student said he’s not ready to make his verbal announcement or reveal his short list of teams soon.

“As of now in the recruiting process, I’m keeping my top schools low key to coaches and family,” Theard said. “But later on in the fall, I will be releasing my top schools. I am open to any and every school because I will attend and commit where I will be the best scholar athlete that I can be.”

“I’m looking at making my verbal commitment in late fall after football season, that’s where I’m looking at right because there are some top schools out there that are waiting to see how I do in my senior year,” Theard continued. “So I’m taking the process slow and mature and rushing the recruiting process is a chance for me to make a mistake, which I’m not trying to make. So late fall or early winter is when I’m looking at my verbal commitment.”

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