While much of the buzz on early National Signing Day for Fresno State involved Mikey Keene transferring from Central Florida plus Jayden Mandal and Brandon Ramirez being prized Central Valley gets, the Bulldogs also tapped into a familiar place to wrap up the December additions.
Ventura College in the 805 – where FS legend and longtime friend of head coach Jeff Tedford, Steve Mooshagian, roams the sidelines and leads the Pirates.
This time, VC produced two signings for the Bulldogs in offensive lineman Caleb Barajas and wide receiver Tim Grear, both sending their Letter of Intents on Wednesday.
“It’s pretty special to see the need to match up with the connection,” Mooshagian told BarkBoard.com. “Will be extra fun watching them practice in the spring and watching games in the fall.”
The towering 6-foot-5, 275-pound Barajas is coming to bolster an offensive line that is undergoing a makeover not only on the roster, but moving on without OL coach Saga Tuitele, who accepted the same position with Arizona State University. Barajas only needed one dominating year with VC to get on the national radar.
Barajas, who played his high school football at Ventura High, manned left tackle and flattened edge rushers in pass protection while also being a lead blocking option on runs plays. Barajas visited the FS campus on Dec. 13 before officially deciding on the Bulldogs Dec. 19. He’ll go from the 805 to the 559 as a First-Team All-State selection. Barajas was also offered by Hawaii, UTEP, Akron and Incarnate Word.
“I loved everything I saw,” Barajas told BarkBoard.com about his official visit at Fresno State. “I met the strength and conditioning coach, he’s a really smart guy and knows what he’s talking about. He’s very similar to the one we’ve got at Ventura College.
“Meeting the coaches and seeing how they are in person, I could tell they are genuine. They have a want for my position and I can tell they really want me to be there. I feel we have a good relationship.”
Grear, meanwhile, comes in during a critical time for the FS wide receiving corps: With Jalen Moreno-Cropper off to the NFL and Josh Kelly entering the transfer portal. The three-star was offered by 15 different programs including the Bulldogs’ Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl opponent Washington State. Grear was also the No. 6 overall WR prospect in the JUCO realm by 247Sports.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be a part of this program; having a huge support system behind Fresno State not just the team but the school in general,” Grear told BarkBoard.com. “Just excited to get to work and put on for the Red Wave.”
The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder produced three 100-yard games this past season for Mooshagian and VC while racking up 764 yards and scoring seven touchdowns. He also delivered a pair of two-touchdown games against Allan Hancock of Santa Maria and Riverside Community College. The wideout said his head coach was energized to see he chose his alma mater to continue onto the four-year level.
“He was very excited when I told him I was committing,” Grear said. “He said he felt it was a great fit for me and that I would love the environment and support Fresno State has to offer.”
Grear played his prep football at New Orleans (La.) John Ehert. Wide receivers coach Pat McCann helped run point on his recruitment to Fresno State. Grear is also walking into a WR room that lost Jalen Moreno-Cropper and Nikko Remigio to the draft and lost Josh Kelly to the transfer portal.
“I feel that I can come in and earn a spot right away. Nothing has been giving to me my whole life so I will work for it but I do feel strongly about my opportunity…that was another factor of me choosing this great program,” Grear said. “Not only being able to play right away but being able to do it at a winning program.”
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