'Dogs Go Full Pads in Day 3 of Spring Ball

March 1, 2013

By Jason Clay

Post-Practice Interviews
Head Coach Tim DeRuyter
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State football team held its third practice of spring football Friday morning in Bulldog Stadium, practicing in full pads for the first time.

Although the 'Dogs were fully geared up, the Bulldogs are still working on shoring up on their technique and fundamentals as they look to build more depth across the board this spring. Even though they didn't go 100 percent live on Friday, head coach Tim DeRuyter would still like to see a more physical presence out at practice."

"There were some good and bad things," DeRuyter said of Friday's practice. "We weren't as physical as where we need to be. We didn't expect it to be perfect, that's why you practice, but we've got to come out tomorrow and hold ourselves to a higher standard and as coaches we are going to do that."

DeRuyter pointed out a couple of younger players that have stepped up to the plate this first week and performed well.

"In the secondary, Dalen Jones has gotten picks the last couple of days and Jamal Ellis is doing some good things," DeRuyter said. "T.J. Thomas is showing some things, he was a scout-teamer from a year ago. Those guys so far, but until we start getting into some live scrimmage stuff it is hard to say someone is doing really well just yet."

Jones, at strong safety, and Ellis at cornerback, are both coming off their redshirt freshmen seasons and are looking to earn playing time in the secondary that last year ranked No. 2 nationally in pass defense. That secondary has been one of the groups that has received the most praise from the coaching staff in this first week of spring ball.

"There are a lot of guys in the secondary that are doing well," DeRuyter said. "Sean Alston had another pick today, he's playing with a lot of confidence and Derron [Smith] is doing a lot of good things."

DeRuyter also commended a couple of the older leaders on the team for not only playing at a high level themselves, but making their teammates around them better.

"Derek [Carr], he's not doing any of our scrimmage type stuff, but he's really got a great command of the offense and a great presence," DeRuyter said. "I like what Austin Wentworth is doing, I think he is doing a good job as a leader taking charge of that front and getting our guys playing at a higher standard.

"Jeremiah Toma, he's forcing some fumbles and doing things that you want a linebacker to do. There are quite a few guys that have been playing and we expect them to be good and they're getting their game up."

The intensity and physicality will start to pick up as spring football moves along. The 'Dogs are back on the field Saturday morning for the final practice of the week and after that still have 10 practices before The Real California Milk Spring Game on March 23 at noon in Bulldog Stadium.

"Discover Fresno State Football" - 2013 Fresno State football season tickets are now on sale and can be ordered online at gobulldogs.com or over the phone at 559-278-DOGS (3647).