We took care of the final Mountain Division team last week after covering the top 3 players from Wyoming. They had some solid players, but me thinks they could see more of the same results on the field this year. There were high hopes for Bohl, as I stated in the article, but the FCS-to-FBS transition has been a bit more difficult than anticipated. I'm sure the national titles with NDSU at the FCS level didn't help the expectations.
Don't forget, we already covered San Diego State in our second post in the series since they won the conference. This week, we will continue with the West Division, picking up with Fresno State. Fresno usually seems to recruit pretty decent kids, and the 2016 class is no exception. Scout credits them with 9 3-star recruits while Rivals lists 6. Let's look at the top 3 that cross over.
Donte Coleman, TE, Mesquite, TX (Mesquite) 6'4" 220lbs
Donte is a familiar name because we also recruited him. I honestly don't know what the situation was as far as him attending FSU over BSU. I thought the West Mesquite pipeline was getting pretty solid, but who knows? He had a TON of offers, including BSU, Cal, ASU, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, TCU and UW just to name a few. At one point he was a Texas Tech commit. I have a hard time seeing a kid with that many offers pick Fresno over all of them. Maybe he has a great relationship with Chason? Back to the task at hand. His senior season numbers are not on MaxPreps and his most recent highlight is from September last year, leading me to believe he was injured all of last year. I also can't find an article to support this assumptions, so we'll just leave it at that.
Justin Rice, FB, Modesto, CA (Central Catholic) 6'2" 215lbs
You are seeing that correctly. Justin is listed as a FB. He played a lot of positions at CCHS, but his most prolific was RB. He's listed as both a FB and LB by Rivals and Scout respectively, but make no mistake, he did his damage lined up behind center. His senior year, he had 251 carries for 2,698 yards and 32 TDs. Yes, that was in one season. His junior year, he has 192 touches for 2,146 yards and 30 TDs. That's pretty ridiculous for any player, let alone in Cali. No idea where Fresno plans on playing him, but I imagine he plays on offense. He also had offers from UNLV and SJSU.
Ryan Popolizio, OL, San Mateo, CA (College of San Mateo) 6'7" 315lbs
Ryan is a mountain of a man, as most OL are, but he's extra mountainy. He came out of high school as big as the largest players we have on our team (Dan Urqhart and Will Adams). Yakoo tips the scales more, but isn't as tall. He played two years at the College of San Mateo and will have 3 to play 2 for the Bulldogs. His most notable offer was from Kansas State. He received offers from BSU, SDSU, UNLV and UNM from the MW. He moves people. A LOT. That's his job as a tackle, and he does it well. His highlights are pretty much him man-handling D-lineman for 5 minutes.
Fresno did a solid job, if these three are any indication of how the rest of the class did. They need to figure out their QB situation, though, to be a contender in the West Division. Next week, we'll take a look at what I would consider our biggest rival: Nevada. GO BRONCOS!