Before committing or even landing his scholarship offer from Fresno State, Ronnie Rivers heard countless of stories about the work ethic and resume of Jeff Tedford through Rivers’ father: Former NFL running back and FS icon Ron Rivers.
Now, the younger Rivers has become the latest to join Tedford’s first recruiting class…and head to the university that made his father a renowned figure by verbally committing to the Bulldogs on Monday night.
Rivers, who held other offers from San Jose State, Hawaii and Idaho, cited Tedford as the chief reason for why he decided on the ‘Dogs.
“Coach Tedford is definitely the one who influenced my decision,” Rivers told Scout. “Even before he was named head coach my dad used to talk about how great of a coach he is. My family was ecstatic, especially my dad, when I told them I wanted to commit to Fresno State.”
Rivers is now the fourth player to commit to Tedford, joining junior college products Jorge Reyna (quarterback, West Los Angeles College), tight end Gunner Javernick (tight end, Ventura College) and Clive Truschel (offensive line, Clovis West).
Rivers is currently preparing for a state championship run with Oakley (Calif.) Freedom High, as the Falcons are entering their state playoff road contest against Stockton-St. Mary’s at 11-1. The Division I-AA battle takes place on Friday, Dec. 9.
Rivers has been the top catalyst for the Falcon rushing attack, slicing defenses up with his elusiveness and speed to the tune of 2,134 yards and 32 touchdowns. Those astronomical numbers earned him the Bay Valley League Most Valuable Player award.
Tedford mentioned to Rivers how he utilized different running backs during his Cal days, further piquing Rivers’ interest about joining FS.
“Coach said that running backs were a big part of his offense,” Rivers said. “He said that I would be a great fit and he mentioned how I remind him of all the great backs he's coached like Marshawn Lynch, C.J. Anderson, Javid Best and my dad.
“I had good conversations with coach Tedford, he made me feel like Fresno State was the best fit for me.”
Rivers added that he got turned off by the coaching turnover at San Jose State. His offer from the Spartans came from head coach Ron Caragher, who was fired on Nov. 27.
“Yes, I really liked the previous coaches, so once they were let go I wasn't sure what was going to happen,” Rivers said.
Rivers concluded that he is fully on board with Fresno State and that he’s “very confident and excited for the new era.”