We continue our series of camp previews for selected non-AQ teams.
Opening camp: Fresno State
Schedule: Practice starts today. First two-a-day practice is Aug. 10.
What’s new: Fresno State has seven home games this season for the first time since 1994, and the first time under coach Pat Hill. The Bulldogs also were able to retain their offensive coordinator for the first time since 2004-05.
Key battle: Hard to say there is a battle at quarterback, with Ryan Colburn heading into fall as the starter. But coach Pat Hill has said he wants to see some competition out of Derek Carr during two-a-day practices. If Colburn remains the starter, Carr would redshirt.
New on the scene: Josh Harper, a true freshman wide receiver, was a California commit at one point before switching to Fresno State. One of the most highly touted players in the state of California, Harper could contribute immediately, considering the team lost three of its top four receivers. He is the son of former NFL player Willie Harper.
Breaking out: Redshirt freshman cornerback L.J. Jones. He had a great spring game, including an interception return for a touchdown. Fresno State is going to need him for its young secondary.
Don’t forget about: Rashad Evans. The sophomore wide receiver had a good freshman year in 2008 but redshirted last season. His return could help the Bulldogs’ passing attack.
All eyes on: Robbie Rouse. The sophomore running back is slated to take over for NCAA leading rusher Ryan Mathews. Fresno State has had a good track record of producing exceptional backs. Rouse is a different mold at 5-foot-7 and 185 pounds. Last season he ran for 479 yards and 4 TDs behind Mathews, who is now in the NFL.
Quoting: “It’s not about potential it’s about production. We’ll find out a lot about our football team in the opener against Cincinnati. In the first three weeks of the season our young kids will get broken in quickly. If we keep our health we should be a very competitive team in November.” -- Fresno State coach Pat Hill