'Dogs Football Managers Remain True Hidden Gems

FRESNO, Calif.

"It's fun," said Bulldog Senior /*Justin Yager*/. "It has its joy to it. The players definitely show you a lot of appreciation here and there. You get to have a lot of fun with them. You get to really meet them and know who they are and joke around with them."

"This is a good way to learn how everything's done on the job," said Bulldog Junior Stephan Hodges. "How to do all this. I mean it's sports for a living. You can't really complain."

Or can you? The managers are not paid, and don't even get preferred registration or other perks enjoyed by student-athletes. So why do it?

"You get to watch D-1 football every day for free," said Hodges. "You use these guys that are gonna go to the NFL, they're gonna be the biggest guys. People are going to go buy their jerseys, put their names on their backs. Why wouldn't you want to do it?"

For the love of the game, or getting a head start on a football coaching career.

"The way they run the program, the way they run practices and everything," said Yager. "[I'll] Take that knowledge and be able to use some of it, maybe all of it, a little bit here and there, what I like, and put it into my own program."

Fact is, Bulldog coaches don't hesitate to mention and applaud the managers: The guys that work behind the scenes tirelessly to make sure practices run smoothly, and are efficient."

"A lot of things you just take for granted they just get done," said Bulldogs Head Coach Pat Hill. "We don't have many but the ones we have work very hard. That's sort of the story of Fresno State."

And Coach Hill isn't the only grateful Bulldog.

"Oh man they do everything," said Bulldogs Quarterback Derek Carr. "I mean they are so good to me. They're on top of their stuff and they mean a ton to me and I know a lot to these guys."

To which the managers have a simple reply: "Go Bulldogs!"

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