Fresno State football: who came, who left and what to expect


Fresno State football prepares to face Washington State for the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl at SoFi Stadium on Dec. 17, 2022. (Manuel Hernandez/The Collegian)

By Valentina Saldaña, Sports Editor

Fresno State football just ended one of its most historical runs. From starting the season 1-4 to ending it with 9 straight wins, the Mountain West Conference title and winning the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl. Key players have played a big role for the Bulldogs in achieving this, but the roster will look different this coming season.

As some players transferred out of Fresno to suit up in new threads, new transfer players are coming in to suit up in the red and blue Bulldog uniform.

Some players have left to declare for the NFL draft.

Bulldogs gone

Fresno native Josh Kelly entered the transfer portal on Dec. 12 with two years of eligibility and committed to play at Washington State on Jan. 7. Kelly played 3 seasons, redshirting his Freshman year in 2019. As wide receiver for the ‘Dogs he had a total of 931 receiving yards and 63 catches.

Another former player heading north is Evan Williams, the senior safety and defensive captain who played 10 games for the Bulldogs last season. Although he battled an injury, he had 66 total tackles. Williams entered the transfer portal on Jan. 4 and committed to play at Oregon, where he will complete his last year of eligibility.

Other players who have transferred out include offensive linemen Bula Schmit who is headed to the University of Central Florida (UCF), defensive linemen Leonard Payne to Colorado, defensive back Cale Sanders to SMU and Alec Trujillo to De Anza College.

Bulldogs to come

Some new faces have also joined the ‘Dogs through the transfer portal, one of those being Mikey Keene, a QB transfer from UCF. Keene played 2 seasons for the Knights, where he completed 23 touchdowns for 2,377 yards and 7 interceptions. With three years of eligibility, the young quarterback will compete for a starting spot against five other players.

Another addition is safety Dean Clark, who transferred from Kent State. He was injured for the majority of this past season, but during his time with the Golden Flashes, he was able to make an impact with a total of 157 tackles, 109 of those being solo.

The Bulldogs are set to start the 2023 season in early September.

Potential Draft Prospects

Some Bulldogs have said their goodbyes to collegiate ball and have declared for the NFL draft.

Jake Haener led the team this season to a Mountain West title and bowl game championship earning himself an invite to the Reese’s Senior Bowl that will be held on Feb. 4, at the Hancock Whitney Stadium. He has also been invited to the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis that will happen in early March.

Another player that will be seen at the combine is Jalen Cropper. He received All-Mountain West first team receiver honors and was also invited to the Shrine Bowl that will be played at Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 2.

Running back Jordan Mims is also headed to the Shrine Bowl. He received First Team All-Mountain West running back this season and is the second all-time scoring leader in touchdowns for Fresno State.

Joining Cropper and Mims at the Shrine Bowl is wide receiver Nikko Remigio. As the newest addition for the ‘Dogs in the 2022 season he earned both All-Mountain West honors for wide receiver (second team) and punt returner, making him the first Bulldog to earn two positional honors in the same season.

The draft is set for April 27-29, and although it is still early to see where these players will land, they have definitely made a name for themselves.