The top 10 players returning to the Fresno State Bulldogs for the 2020 college football season.
Important to note that this list is based upon last year's data and film from on each specific team as well as judgment based upon the player's position both his skill and the level of talent around him at the said position and influential cohorts. Positional value also plays a large factor in these rankings as does the offensive or defensive scheme.
1. Ronnie Rivers, RB
2. Arron Mosby, LB
3. Wylan Free, S
4. Syrus Tuitele, T
5. Kevin Atkins, DI
6. Justin Rice, LB
7. Jalen Cropper, WR
8. Levelle Bailey, LB
9. Matt Smith, C
10. Dontae Bull, T
Rivers bounces off first contact almost as effortlessly as he breaks big runs with his elusiveness. He's a bonafide star and should see that status reached with more carries this year and easily 1,000 yards on the ground. What separates him from the rest of MWC and maybe even all Group of 5 running backs is his ability to make defenders miss and YAC up the yards in the passing game. He recorded 45 receptions a season ago for 352 but had 402 of those come after the catch. He hauled in the ball routinely behind the line of scrimmage but dominated after the catch.
Rivers will carry the load, quite literally, this year on offense but with Tuitele and Bull manning the outsides, Smith in the middle and Cropper back on offense, they could surprise some. Cropper flashed at times last year and as who should be the main go-to receiver this year, could be in line for a big 2020.
Mosby and Rice return to a defense depleted of returning star power with their cornerback department depleted. Mosby had an interception and four more pass breakups a year ago as he shined in coverage and Rice led the team in tackles while also chipping in with several pressures on the quarterback.
Free will be the returning leader in the secondary with his two interceptions and handful of other plays on the ball. He'll be counted on heavily to guide this young secondary this year.