Patrick Jeune was greeted by Fresno with triple-digit heat. Fortunately, the first-impression did not deter him.
“I’m used to the heat, but that really hit me,” Jeune said. “It was like 105 degrees.”
The 6-foot and 175-pound receiver from Morningside HS in Los Angeles (Calif.) has until February to decide to sign to the school of his choice, but he went into his recent unofficial visit to Fresno State thinking that the Central Valley could be his home for the next four years.
“I was going to commit,” Jeune said. “But the only thing that was stopping me was going up to Fresno (and seeing it in person).”
Jeune’s visit started with a stop at the coaches’ offices where he was shown a powerpoint on the program. Then he saw the campus facilities, the weight room, was allowed to try on the Bulldogs’ gear, saw student living and wrapped up with a look inside Bulldog Stadium.
Then came the moment of truth - a one-on-one meeting with the top ‘Dog, Fresno State Head Coach Tim DeRuyter.
As Jeune tells it, “(DeRuyter) said, ‘Are you looking to commit before, during or after the season,?’ I told him before.”
“He asked, ‘When?’ Then I said, ‘Right now.’ I thought he would pick it up when I said that, but I guess he didn’t. I said, ‘I’m committing to Fresno State.’ That’s when he jumped up and started yelling and stuff.”
The overall experience of his unofficial visit gave Jeune the confidence to commit, he said.
“I liked the facilities,” Jeune said. “Fresno State - some people downtalk Fresno and say it’s not a good school. People that say that have never been to the campus or around the school. The campus is beautiful; I love it.
“I committed because of the coaches and the facilities, but mainly because of the coaches. They were real. Some coaches want you just to want you, because of your name - they can say ‘I got him’ and they can brag about it. I know they were really about me and they really wanted me. They kept in contact with me, stayed vocal with me, checked up on me. That fit the bill for me.”
Fresno State put together a team of assistant coaches to recruit him, Jeune said. Offensive Coordinator Eric Kiesau, wide receivers coach Burl Toler and outside linebackers coach Jordan Peterson all played a role. They were met with competition in offers from Nevada and San Diego State, though Jeune said he has received interest from nearly every Pac-12 and Mountain West program.
Jeune describes himself as a player who is dangerous with the ball in his hands, whether it be after a catch or on returns.
“I’m an explosive player,” Jeune said. “A lot of coaches tell me it looks like it looks easy for me on film. I feel like I’m just a smooth player. I play smooth and relaxed. There’s no need to rush when the ball is in my hands. When I get the ball in my hands, everybody has their eyes open waiting to see what I’ll do. I’m a big guy in special teams too. I love punt returns.”
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