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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Davante+Adams%E2%80%99+jersey+was+retired+during+halftime+at+Saturday+night%E2%80%99s+homecoming+game.+%28Aidan+Garaygordobil%2F+The%0ACollegian%29
Davante Adams’ jersey was retired during halftime at Saturday night’s homecoming game. (Aidan Garaygordobil/ The Collegian)

Fresno State celebrates ‘Bulldog Legacy’ with Adams’ jersey retirement and 1982 team

On Saturday, Oct. 15, Fresno State’s No. 15 football jersey was officially ingrained in football program history. 

Fresno State fans had a lot to celebrate when the Bulldogs snapped a four-game losing streak on homecoming night. ‘Dogs’ Head Coach Jeff Tedford’s 1982 Fresno State team was also honored during the game.

However, nothing could overshadow the arrival of Davante Adams as a sold-out Valley Children’s Stadium welcomed the former Bulldog and current Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver with a standing ovation. Adams was the focal point of the night as he became the ninth player in Fresno State football program history to have his number retired.

“It means the world,” Adams said. “I look across at the people I’m in great company with. It’s just unbelievable. I love everything about Fresno. The time that I had here; the memories I was able to create; creating more now to come back again and being able to share this with the fans, it’s awesome.”

Davante Adams’ jersey was retired during halftime at Saturday night’s homecoming game. (Aidan Garaygordobil/ The
Collegian)

Adams joins his former Bulldog and current Raider teammate Derek Carr, who, to Adams’ delight, was in attendance for the celebration.

“He’s a guy that likes surprises. He shocked me with that. I didn’t know he was coming, so to be able to come down here and see my guy even for a minute before we gotta get out of here, just to have that type of support from him. Obviously I see him every day now but for him to make the trip down here, it means a lot,” Adams said.

It was fitting that Carr was by Adams’ side considering that Adams’ No. 15 was installed under the press box to the left of Carr’s No. 4, which was retired in 2017.

With Carr under center, Adams was able to break the career-receiving touchdowns record which still stands at 38, as well as the single-season receptions and receiving yards records with 131 receptions and 1,718 receiving yards.

Due to mechanical issues, Adams’ flight from Henderson, Nevada, was delayed, so he was unable to speak to the Bulldog team in the locker room prior to the game.

“I was really disappointed,” Tedford said. “I think something happened to his airplane because it was planned for him to talk to the team in the locker room before the game, and he wasn’t able to make it.”

Although Adams was unable to speak to the team personally before the game, he still knows the impact he has left on the generations coming up after him.

“It just shows how it comes full circle. Sometimes I feel too old with some guys coming in the league saying they watched my tape growing up and I’m like, whoa, I don’t know about all that. That’s making me a little older than what I am. But it’s a great feeling. It shows that I’m doing some good things to give the youth and guys in college something good to watch, something good to follow after, so that’s basically all I’m trying to do is just keep that going and keep making them proud,” Adams said.

Adams is an integral part of Fresno State football history that newer generations can look to for inspiration. 

Davante Adams’ jersey was retired during halftime at Saturday night’s homecoming game. (Aidan Garaygordobil/ The
Collegian)


Tedford’s class of 1982 players were also in attendance, serving as testament to the magical moments the Valley can produce.

Four decades ago the Bulldogs had a historic season led by Tedford at quarterback. The season ended in a 29-28 win over Bowling Green in the California Raisin Bowl to cap off an 11-1 season.

However, as the saying goes, it’s about the journey, not the destination.

The Bulldogs were put through a brutal journey that year. The night before a matchup against Nevada, the team was going through its typical walkthrough when the ‘Dogs got a call that would change their season.

Coaching staff was notified that a car full of wives and significant others heading to Reno collided with an armored truck, leaving them severely injured. Many staff members flew home that night to be with their loved ones.

The Bulldogs played the following night, suffering their only loss of the season. The remainder of the season included mostly volunteer coaches, placing the responsibility on the players to get them through the rest of the season.

The players did just that, winning out en route to a spot in the California Raisin Bowl, their first bowl game in 11 years. The Bulldogs battled through adversity once again as they went scoreless until the third quarter, trailing by three touchdowns with 15:42 remaining.

Tedford rallied Fresno in the fourth quarter, setting a single game record of 31 completions in a game and completing the comeback with 11 seconds remaining for a 29-28 victory.

On a night with so many special memories honored, perhaps this could be the impetus this current Fresno State team needed to propel them into creating something special of their own.

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