OAKLAND, Calif. -- As he walked down the ramp and onto the field at Bulldog Stadium on Saturday, three-star Carmichael (Calif.) Jesuit defender Maurice Gaines Jr. listened to new Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford regale him and the rest of the Junior Day visitors about the history of the program, and of the school -- Tedford's alma mater.
"Walking down the ramp onto the field, they told us about the history of the players, the energy of the crowd, and I could just picture it in my head, how amazing that would be," Gaines said on Sunday, at the Kenion Training 7on7 Kickoff at Oakland (Calif.) Skyline. "They first introduced us to the program, and basically stated that their mission -- their plan -- for the whole season. Then, they took us to the stadium, we got to visit the dorms -- basically the whole university -- and we learned about the history of the university."
Gaines was also guided around by defensive backs coach J.D. Williams, but it was the offensively-minded Tedford who capped the trip with a scholarship offer, his fourth, following Oregon State, UCLA, San Jose State and Nevada.
"He said he wanted me to become a Bulldog, and visit more," Gaines said. "He told me more about the program, how amazing it is. He wants me to help build the program."
Gaines also sat down and chatted one-on-one with his potential future position coach.
"He said that, with the secondary he's recruiting, it could be a big secondary, if I joined," Gaines said. "He was basically trying to get me to commit on the spot."
Gaines is still a bit away from deciding. Along with his offers, he's also receiving interest from Oregon, Indiana and San Diego State. He sports a 3.3 grade point average, and wants to major in business and accounting. His cousin is majoring in that a USC.
"I just want to go wherever fits best for me," Gaines said. "A good fit is a program that I can come in, and immediately play, and looking at the education program, how that fits me best. Then, hopefully come in and impress the coaches, be able to play and make it to the next level."