Dean and Harper Getting Back Up to Speed
March 4, 2013
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
|Wide Receiver Victor Dean
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State wide receivers Josh Harper and Victor Dean both have different roles this spring, but just getting the duo back out on the field and working in the offense is a welcome site for the Bulldogs.
Dean missed the last three games of the season after breaking his leg in the first half of the Nov. 3 game against Hawai'i. Harper only played in five games in 2012, missing the last seven with a sports hernia.
Both players underwent surgeries for their injuries, but were on the fast track to recovery and are now back in pads for the Bulldogs this spring.
"It felt like I missed the hole year and I'm just excited to be back," said Harper, who has caught a touchdown pass in nine of the 16 games he has played in. "I'm feeling really good. It's way better than last week and I feel like it is loosening up every day. I've been getting in the ice bath a lot, and that is helping out tremendously."
Harper has been 100 percent full go this spring, he even participated in the live team period that Fresno State ended Monday's practice with.
Dean has been limited to non-contact work this spring, but seeing him out on the field running full-go is remarkable in relation to the timeframe on the type of injury he sustained.
"I think every day it's getting better. It is just a matter of getting used to falling down and running the routes again and getting my timing down with the quarterback," Dean said. "For the most part, I feel pretty good."
Last year, Dean was coming on real strong before his injury and performing at a high level. In three-straight games before the injury against Boise State, Wyoming and New Mexico, Dean caught 22 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns. He finished the season with 30 receptions - the fourth-most on the team - for 389 yards and those two scores.
Harper missed the first game of 2012 with a hamstring injury. He returned in week two and had two catches for 26 yards at No. 4 Oregon. After that he took off, catching a touchdown pass in the next four games. On Sept. 29, Harper hauled in nine passes for 120 yards and a touchdown in a win over San Diego State. Two weeks later, in practice, he sustained his injury and missed the rest of the year.
With two of Derek Carr's top wide outs missing, Carr was still able to set a new Mountain West record with 4,104 yards passing.
Now having them back in 2013, Carr has one heck of a lineup of receivers to work with.
Adding up Adams, Burse, Dean and Harper's numbers, the four had 213 catches for 2,885 yards and 26 touchdowns. That's some pretty good offense.
"It's going to be fun," Carr said of having a full cupboard of receivers to work with. "My job is going to be easy."
Head coach Tim DeRuyter on Monday's practice, which was the fifth of spring ball:
"I was encouraged. I thought both sides of the ball, we had some real physical play. There was some big collisions. We even let the quarterbacks get involved with tackling outside the pocket. It was good to see those guys make some plays. All in all, I thought we got better today."
"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).