By Mark Burkholder
After 22 practices and three scrimmages, fall training camp concluded Wednesday morning
FRESNO, Calif. – Dressed in brand new uniforms, and running out of the Bulldog tunnel was the Fresno State football team on what was the final day of fall training camp, which covered everything from pregame rollout to some live play for the third scrimmage of camp Wednesday.
“That’s how we like to end camp,” said head coach Tim DeRuyter. “With our third scrimmage, the only live work we did was with our younger guys, but we got some good work in. A lot of situations that may or may not happen during a year, but you go through the process.”
For many of the players, Wednesday was a first to be in uniform and go through the routines of gameday. For others, it was a day to brush up on the timeliness of when substitutions were necessary on the field and other situational work.
“We do our substitution going from offensive to punt, defensive to punt return and all the possible situations,” DeRuyter said. “I thought it was a good focused practice.”
The ones and twos were presented mostly with situational work – 3rd-and-short, redzone and two-minute drills. During those situations, both Brian Burrell and Brandon Connette shared reps leading the ones and twos on the field.
“I thought Brian did a real nice job with the one offense going down the field,” said DeRuyter. “We went ones versus twos for the first time today, and as expected the one defense looked good, and the one offense looked good. Both quarterbacks looked good with the one offense.”
After 22 practices, fall training camp officially came to a close, and just like each year before, both sides of ball looked crisper after putting the work in.
“As a team we made a lot of strides on offense and defense,” said senior wide receiver Greg Watson. “Things may have started out slow on both sides of the ball, but throughout the weeks, from the quarterbacks, receivers, our defense, everything – there’s been big improvements from day one to now.”
The Bulldogs will now turn all their focus to USC moving forward as the team heads into game week. The players will have Thursday off, for the first day of school, and then start afternoon practices, beginning Friday, as players return to classes in the mornings.
Derron Smith Garners National Attention
Derron Smith added a little more esteem to his resume on Wednesday as he was selected to CBSSports.com Preseason All-America team. CBS Sports selects just one team consisting of 11 offensive players, 11 defensive players and five specialists and Smith was the only player on that list not from a Power 5 conference school.
Smith, who was voted as the Mountain West Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, was selected previously this summer to three other preseason All-America teams and is on the watch list for six national awards. He is the nation’s active leader in career interceptions with 14 and was rated by ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper as the No. 1 senior safety in the country