Fresno State’s 2017 recruiting class has gone from two commits to four this month.
The recruiting class started with linebacker Cody Watson of Florida and quarterback Mark Salazar of San Diego - now the ‘Dogs add a defensive duo from Texas in safety Javon McInnis and linebacker Bruce Bivens.
For both recruits, Fresno State was their first FBS offer.
The 5-foot-10 and 190-pound safety of Carrollton (Texas), McInnis, held one offer from Stephen F. Austin before the Bulldogs offered. His list of interested schools does include Kansas and Kansas State, however.
“I am not as highly sought after as some other athletes out there, but I do have a lot of talent and I have a lot of interest from several schools,” McInnis said. “With Fresno State I’ve been building relationships with (incoming) players and some who have recently committed as well. I just did my homework with Fresno State and it seemed like the perfect fit for me.
“On my behalf, Fresno State was my biggest FBS offer. I wanted to go and experience FBS football rather than smaller ball. I’ve been dreaming of playing FBS football since I started playing."
For Aldine (Texas) Davis linebacker Bruce Bivens, Fresno State Outside Linebackers Coach Jordan Peterson visited him in person at Irving High School to make the offer.
“That was the first time I met (Peterson), that’s what made it so exciting," Bivens said. "It was a big surprise. It was jaw-dropping. It was very exciting. I was speechless. It was very exciting because I’ve worked super hard. It was a great moment. It’s a great feeling to know you have somewhere to go to college. I’m hyped about it."
Bivens held five FCS-level scholarship offers, but Fresno State was the first FBS school to follow through on their word to him.
“All the other colleges, they all say the same thing,” Bivens said. “They all want you to see the campus. I went to a whole bunch of camps and they all told me, ‘If you come to the camp we will offer you.’ When I do so, they never do and I just stop hearing from. Fresno State, I love their coaches. It’s something different about them and the nature of them. That’s kind of why (I committed), they stuck with me so I’m going to stick with them.”
So what are the Bulldogs getting in the two commits?
Both players have impressed with their work ethic and ability on the field, but have been overlooked as being undersized.
Bivens will lineup as an outside linebacker in high school this fall at 5-foot-11 and 220 lbs. At his size he will project as an inside linebacker for the Bulldogs.
“I’m a pretty good player, but people kind of profile me for my height,” Bivens said. “I’m kind of an undersized linebacker. I bring a lot of fire to the team. I play with a lot of excitement. I love the game of football. I play fast and physical, it’s just in my nature.”
Scout.com recruiting analysts list McInnis’s strengths as his blitzing ability, tackling ability and toughness. In high school, he does it all with experience playing quarterback, running back, wide receiver and defensive back. He will be a safety for the Bulldogs
“I feel like I’m a playmaker,” McInnis said. “I just make plays wherever I go, whether it be offense, defense or special teams. I feel like I’m explosive, I make explosive plays. I’m not the greatest yet, but I’m a hard worker and I’m a leader on the field… At safety, it’s just natural to me. I’ve been playing safety since little leagues.”
Click HERE to become a BarkBoard.com premium member or try a 7-day free trial. Subscribers gain access to insider-only content and information provided by the Barkboard staff and Scout.com's national writers.