DE Tyler Clutts

2006 Statistics

Coach: Pat Hill
76-51, 10 years
2006 Record: 4-8
at Washington LOST 20-21
at Utah State LOST 12-13
at Louisiana State LOST 6-38
at Boise State LOST 21-45
at Louisiana Tech WON 34-27
at San Jose State LOST 14-24

2006 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2007 Outlook

What was one of the winningest teams in the past 20 years (171 victories since 1985 ranks them 16th in I-A over that span) took a huge step back in 2006. Finishing 4-8 earned 11-year veteran Pat Hill his worst result here and only his second losing season as a head coach. There was a lot of blame to go around on both sides of the ball. Only scoring 12 points off of (arguably) the worst defense/team in all of Division I-A ball last year – that of Utah State – marked the beginning of a low point for the offense, one that took four games to fix. A huge part of the offensive struggles came care of having a new starting QB. But a year older and (hopefully) a year wiser, Tom Brandstater carries the hopes of the Bulldogs to return to the same levels seen just a few years ago. The playbook will open up slowly, and deeper passes that stretch the field will do wonders for making more room underneath. The running game was fine and will continue to produce, regardless. The defense is symmetrical, with the secondary needing the most help and the run stoppers adequate and likely to improve. The entire D is well stocked on the first-team, but depth problems across the board could quickly/easily threaten the efforts to rebound. Playing in the WAC, the Bulldogs used to exhibit a level of play well above most others in the league. But games that used to be gimme’s now seem challenging, hence, trips to Honolulu, Reno (Nevada) and Las Cruces (New Mexico State) have to be as concerning as trips to College Station (Texas A&M) and Eugene (Oregon). Boise and Kansas State, though both home games, make it seven strong foes who can quickly make this another sub-.500 finish. Progress through spring was promising, but this team will have to again establish itself as a dominant power in the west for foes to fear them…nothing comes easy for a mid-major that was on the verge of prominence but then fell, even if just for one season. Regardless, Hill is a classically great coach, helping his boys become men with valuable life lessons through football as well as through a staunch approach to their academics. His Bulldogs have raised their GPAs from 2.21 to 2.87 over the past decade, and the 93 academic All-WAC selections during that span eclipses second-place Hawai’i’s total of 46 (FS had only nine prior to Hill’s arrival). Kudos to Hill and his staff for assuring his guys all of the educational benefits they should receive as student-athletes (most of whom will go onto do something besides football). That makes Fresno’s football program a winner, exclusive of what happens on gameday, and Hill an even bigger winner for putting humanity above sport, something not often seen in today’s money-oriented approach.

Projected 2007 record: 6-6
QB - 3 DL - 3
RB - 3 LB - 3
WR - 3 DB - 2
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Tom Brandstater, 146-268-14, 1490 yds., 13 TD

Rushing: Lonyae Miller, 54 att., 287 yds., 2 TD

Receiving: Chastin West, 33 rec., 365 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: Clint Stitser, 11-16 FG, 31-33 PAT, 64 pts.

Punting: Kyle Zimmerman, 42 punts, 36.8 avg.

Kicking: Clint Stitser, 11-16 FG, 31-33 PAT, 64 pts.

Tackles: Ahijah Lane, 64 tot., 35 solo

Sacks: Tyler Clutts, 5 sacks

Interceptions: Damon Jenkins, 3 for 70 yds., 1 TD

Kickoff returns: Chastin West, 24 ret., 22.0 avg., 1 TD

Punt returns: Clifton Smith, 19 ret., 7.3 avg., 0 TD


K Clint Stitser
OFFENSE: Roshon Vercher-FB, Joe Fernandez-WR, Paul Williams-WR, Kyle Young-C, Chris Denman-OT, Dwayne Wright-RB (NFL)
DEFENSE: Marlon Brisco-DE, Louis Leonard-DT, Dwayne Andrews-MLB, Alan Goodwin-OLB, Elgin Simmons-CB, Marcus McCauley-CB, Josh Sherley-SS, Vincent Mays-FS

It was one and done for old coordinator Steve Hagen. Finishing ranked 101st in passing didn’t sit well with Pat Hill, so he got Jim McElwain to step in. Accordingly, McElwain is a passing game specialist whose stops have all resulted in sizable increases in aerial production. And his best hope is for top gun Tom Brandstater to have learned from the oft-seen mistakes from his first season as a starter. Brandstater is 6’5 and can run with success, so he is the physical package needed. But his 14 INTs offset his 13 TD passes, and the offense was unable to open up the entire playbook when he was under center. Sean Norton transferred (N. Arizona), which means RS frosh Ryan Colburn has become, by default, second string. Colburn is a bit shorter but just as physically imposing, and his success as a dual-threat QB in prep has many tabbing him “the FS quarterback of the future.” First, though, he will have to wait for Brandstater to give him an opening, and since the junior only had two games where he barely went over 200 passing yards, Colburn’s chance could come sooner than later. One thing Fresno did well was running the ball (Hill’s specialty), and the new workhorse is Lonyae Miller. Perfectly sized to plow through a small gap or skirt quickly around the corner, the underrated soph only lost one yard on his 54 carries in his initial campaign. Classmate Anthony Harding is a bit bigger and just as fast; the youth movement also includes H-backs/fullbacks Stuart and Kitner, with Kitner’s great receiving skills the production highlight of that unit. Losing Wright shouldn’t affect the quality of the rushing attack, especially with nearly the entire front line returning in full. Ex-DE Richard Pacheco is the new cog at right guard, and he will be brought along quickly due to those teaching by example around him. That mostly references Ryan Wendell, the Rimington watch-list center who best represents the athletic, quick-footed Bulldogs who push and protect on the line. On Pacheco’s right, Adam McDowell can give him firsthand accounts since he started at RG last year. But it is juniors Bobby Lepori and Kenny Avon who again will protect the QB’s blindside, and repeating last year’s total of 12 sacks allowed (third-best in the nation in ’06; lowest sack total – 26 – over last two seasons) evidently isn’t too much to ask (though, that number will rise with more passing in ’07). TE Bear Pascoe helps in many ways, none less than with his 22 catches – Pascoe’s total was good for fourth-best on the team and he had Fresno’s second-highest average per catch (14.0); his 75 yard grab against Hawai’i tied him for the longest Bulldog reception of the year. He will help to open up the deep middle, which is where Marlon Moore will hopefully be found. State has to establish the long pass again, an element that was missing last time and one that invited DBs into the box once they realized Brandstater’s lack of (successful) throws over their heads. Chastain West uses his big body to secure underneath routes that lead to YAC, but he could be the field-stretching guy if given that task. The sophomore backups are experienced and make the Bulldogs formidable when in three-, four- and five-receiver sets. Whether Brandstater is a year better will dictate whether FS has a chance to return to those eight- and nine-win types of campaigns, or whether they will again struggle just to break even.


C Ryan Wendell


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Tom Brandstater-Jr (6-5, 220) Ryan Colburn-Fr (6-3, 220)
FB Michael Stuart-Jr (6-4, 245) Isaac Kinter-So (6-1, 240)
RB Lonyae Miller-So (5-11, 205) Anthony Harding-So (6-0, 215)
Clifton Smith-Sr (5-8, 190)
WR Marlon Moore-So (6-0, 180) Seyi Ajirotutu-So (6-3, 200)
WR Chastin West-So (6-1, 215) Jason Crawley-So (6-2, 185)
TE Bear Pascoe-Jr (6-5, 260) Drew Lubinsky-Jr (6-6, 250)
OT Bobby Lepori-Jr (6-5, 285) Kenny Avon-Jr (6-3, 285)
OG Cole Popovich-Sr (6-6, 265) Pierce Masse-Jr (6-4, 285)
C Ryan Wendell-Sr (6-2, 260) Joe Bernardi-Fr (6-2, 280)
OG Richard Pacheco-Jr (6-2, 285) Andrew Jackson-Fr (6-5, 260)
OT Adam McDowell-Jr (6-4, 285) James Meeks-So (6-5, 310)
K Clint Stitser-Sr (6-1, 200) Kyle Zimmerman-Sr (6-1, 200)



Last year’s undoing is a direct result of the poor showing on defense – all five times an opponent scored over 30 points, Fresno lost. As a matter of fact, during Hill’s 10 year tenure, the Bulldogs are 1-31 when their opponent goes over the 30-point barrier. That means Hill and coordinator Dan Brown are 75-20 when they hold foes to 30 or less, so the bar is set. The run stopping was adequate, and end Tyler Clutts returning for his senior year will help the line’s rebuilding process. The team leader in sacks has enough athleticism to cover a tight end, a major reason Clutts earned all-WAC last year. Experienced juniors Roberts and Ike are the same speedy guys who know how to contain. Depth drops off from there, though, Miami/Wazzu-transfer and local-product (Clovis West) Chris Lewis seems to be on the two-deep with his strong spring. Inside, big Jason Shirley uses his 6’5 frame well (three blocked kicks) and demands double-teams. Jon Monga is ready for the start after proving himself as an oft-seen reserve, and the fact that he seems to have passed former starter Charles Tolbert bodes well for stopping ability. But there is even bigger drop off with the tackle reserves once past these three, so health concerns exist all along the front. The linebackers rebuild around Ahijah Lane, a senior who didn’t quite perform at the high level expected as a starter on the outside. Now commanding things from the middle, Lane’s level of play has to be seen as a barometer for the entire D and he could really excel after lessons learned are applied. That is especially true with the likes of seniors Trevor Shamblee (strongside) and Marcus Riley (weakside) complimenting him. Riley seems back at full strength after a knee injury lingered and affected last year’s effort, and Shamblee is hopefully going to be ready after Quaadir Brown filled in all spring. These guys know the ropes here and the trio is good enough to bring this defense back to a top 40 unit. It’s the same old story here, too, with regards to the reserves being green, but recent recruits (Jacobs, Machado) buoy the hopes of refurbishing the ranks. Another way to see how the defense is doing is to examine the progress of the secondary after it posted a ranking of 107th for pass efficiency. Senior Damon Jenkins is the leader at corner, and he will send plenty of business to the other side for Damion Owens and JUCO-transfer Sharrod Davis to battle over. More talent behind them, added to the surge of three-star DB prospects, equals much promise for the outsides. Sophomore Marvin Haynes started the last four games at free safety, and he was one of the reasons, as just a RS frosh, his team won three of them. Classmate Moses Harris has very little experience as he steps up at strong safety; he has the raw talent to become great, but how much time that takes is unclear. There is the same lack of development past the starters at safety. Moreover, the DBs only earned three INTs last year (all were by Jenkins), and with the modest number of tackles-for-loss to accompany opponent’s strong 46% third-down conversion rate, it doesn’t take an expert to realize what this team needs to accomplish to improve the win total.


DT Jason Shirley


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Tyler Clutts-Sr (6-2, 245) Ikenna Ike-Jr (6-1, 255)
NT Jon Monga-Jr (6-2, 280) Charles Tolbert-Sr (5-11, 265)
DT Jason Shirley-Sr (6-5, 330) Cornell Banks-Fr (6-3, 265)
DE Jason Roberts-Jr (6-5, 250) Chris Lewis-Fr (6-3, 245)
SLB Trevor Shamblee-Sr (6-1, 220) Ben Jacobs-Fr (6-3, 225)
MLB Ahijah Lane-Sr (6-1, 225) Ryan McKinley-Jr (6-2, 220)
WLB Marcus Riley-Sr (6-0, 220) Quaadir Brown-So (6-0, 210)
CB Damon Jenkins-Sr (5-11, 180) Damion Owens-So (5-11, 185)
CB Sharrod Davis-Jr (5-11, 190) AJ Jefferson-So (6-0, 180)
SS Moses Harris-So (6-1, 200) Lorne Bell-Fr (5-10, 195)
FS Marvin Haynes-So (6-1, 195) Jake Jorde-Jr (6-1, 195)
P Kyle Zimmerman-Sr (6-1, 200) Robert Malone-So (6-2, 215)




Kicker Clint Stitser provides an automatic three points from kicks less than 40 yards, but struggles from beyond there. He puts over one-third of his kickoffs in the endzone and offers a serious presence on the coverage team (bench 350+, squats 500lbs). Punter Kyle Zimmerman controls his efforts rather than overpowering each try, but Fresno took a hue step back in net results - foes got 335 return yards, an aberration from the results over the prior few years. West and Smith do an adequate job as the kick and punt returners, respectively, but have yet to ‘wow’ anyone with their efforts. Pat Hill’s special teams units have blocked 70 kicks during his time here – 35 punts and 35 FGAs or PATs, including seven last season.