Good Sports: Fresno State NFL Wall

March 23, 2013 12:42:25 AM PDT
It may be only a few feet tall, and a few more feet wide, but the significance of the new NFL Wall at Fresno State is huge on multiple levels.

"Number one was recruiting," explained Head Coach Tim DeRuyter. "You want to bring guys in that aspire to be in the NFL. Secondly motivating your current players. They can say hey I'm in this locker room, that player was in this locker room, this is where I want to go."

And the last way is for the alumni, the players whose names grace the team cards, and who set the standard for the current crop of Bulldogs.

"They would show their kids 'Hey that was me on one side of the wall as a Bulldog and that's me as a Bulldog and that's me in my NFL days,'" said Coach DeRuyter.

"I think it's built a bridge from every player that played," said former Bulldog and NFL Defensive Back Cameron Worrell. "Regardless if you are a Sweeney guy or a Pat Hill guy, or now a Coach DeRuyter guy, you're a Bulldog. Once you're a Bulldog you're always a Bulldog."

Having successful former Bulldogs like the Chowchilla high grad Worrell roaming the hallways is never a bad thing, for the alums or the players.

"I think it's tremendous that these young kids come in and get a sense of the history of this program," said Worrell. "There's not a lot of guys outside the area of Fresno that really understand what it is to be a Bulldog. This, I think, will help with that."

The wall also gives the Bulldogs of past a special tie to the Bulldogs of present and future.

"Guys like Rodney Wright, Bernard Berrian just to name a few," said current Bulldog Quarterback Derek Carr. "Just to see those guys, seeing their name on the wall knowing that I used to throw balls to them when I was eight years old, it's cool to see."

And there's plenty of room for more names in the very near future, a fact not lost on at least one current Bulldog.

"I want to leave a legacy here," said Carr matter-of-factly. "Hopefully we can have a great year this year and continue that."

"In the future this thing is going to get even bigger so it's nice that we've got this thing very expandable," said Coach DeRuyter.


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