FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- New quarterback Jake Haener is about as Bulldog Born and Bulldog Bred as it gets. His father, Ryan, played with Kevin Sweeney at Bullard High and dad actually met mom at Bulldog Stadium.
Haener's parents attended a Fresno State football game together through mutual friends. Julie was a television anchor here in Fresno at the time.
Jake's dad's close relationship with Sweeney is what led to him wearing the number nine this season.
Legendary Bulldog quarterback Sweeney has been a role model for Haener, even allowing him to wear his retired number nine jersey this season.
"I was so excited and honored that Jake had asked to wear the number nine," he said. "I think because of the relationship I had with his father, I grew up with his dad, played quarterback as well at Bullard High. Just the fact that Jake wanted to represent the Sweeney family."
Sweeney says last night's turnovers on offense are just temporary setbacks for the Bulldog signal-caller.
"Just like any good quarterback, you have to have short term memory, you have to have that courage and confidence when you make those errors, that happens," he said. "Great opportunity to step up this week and lead, that's what I always talk to him about, you don't have to be the greatest quarterback but just be a great leader."
Following last night's game, Coach Deboer said that Haener was being to hard on himself on the sidelines, but Sweeney says it' san opportunity to grow.
"Stuff happens, how you react to it, you have to pick yourself up and do it again," Sweeney said. "When you play great, you get too much praise and you get too much criticism when things don't go well. This is the greatest time of your life, you get to play college football. Let's continue to back the Bulldogs and look forward to Thursday night."
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