Expectations are high for football next year


Leonard Payne Jr. (55) gets a fumble recovery in the game against the Aztecs on Oct. 29, 2022. (Aidan Garayordobil/The Collegian)

By Alexis Bruno, Reporter

Coming off of a successful season, the Fresno State football team has raised expectations going into the offseason.

In 2022, the football team ended its season with an overall record of 10-4, taking it to the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, but the team has since changed.

Entering the offseason, many players departed from the football team declaring for the draft or entering the transfer portal.

This could affect their upcoming season as the Dogs’ look to win back to back Mountain West titles.

Key players who will no longer be seen at the Valley Children’s Stadium next season are starting quarterback Jake Haener, running back Jordan Mims, safety Evan Williams and eight other transfers .

This has brought Fresno State football to bring in the next man up and hold them to higher expectations.

As Haener leaves, it is projected to see more from sophomore quarterback, Logan Fife.

In the 2022 season, Fife stepped on the field in 10 games and started four of them in place of then injured Haener.

“It started off with me going to their camps when I was a freshman, and I did pretty good at the camps,” Fife told the Tracy Press in 2019.

This past season he had 892 yards for the season and handled a key divisional game win against San Jose.

Fife is expected to step up in hopes to lead Fresno State to many more wins starting the new season, with the support of his coach Jeff Tedford who told The Collegian last season.

“I thought Logan did a very nice job. He showed composure, he was poised… To be able to get in that environment and move the ball down the field, we really kept rolling on offense pretty well when he was in there.”

Other players who will likely make starting appearances on the field are running back Malik Sherrod and safety Chrishawn Gordon.

Sherrod was the second leading rusher in 2022, with 428 yards. He is anticipated to take the leading role next season to chase another great record.

Finally, Gordon, who got his career start against New Mexico, is expected to make great improvements during the offseason to prepare for his leading role on the field as the upcoming safety.

The bar has been set high for the football team as it had a successful season with many accomplishments but that may not be the same this fall.

It will be up to the next starters to lead the Fresno State football team to the very high standards last year’s team set.

Fresno State football is set to kick off its 2023-2024 season in September with many new faces on the field.