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January 26, 2014
DeRuyter's family message wins the day
Escondido (Calif.) San Pasqual inside linebacker Kyle Hendrickson took his trip to Fresno and decided that he was done looking around. He had found a home for the next four years. He was going to be a Bulldog. The coaching staff had done enough to convince him Fresno was where he needed to be.
"It's the coaching staff," Hendrickson said. "It's the players, the family aspect, and the big following of the fan-base that just really made me feel good about the whole thing.
Hendrickson used his official visit this weekend to find out more about how the coaching staff planned to use him. He also used the trip to ask the coaches what their immediate and long-term plans for him were and how that would translate to future success.
"They're going to put me as a defensive end," Hendrickson said. "I'm going to learn to be a good, big defensive end, just kind of be quick, be fast, and get to the quarterback. They're going to use me on both. I should be able to be used on both sides, right and left. It depends on where they need me at the time.
"I think I'm going to redshirt. That's what it's looking like. That's just so I can gain weight, get bigger, get stronger, and get to know the position better. Most of the defensive ends are around the 275-to-285-pound range and I'm currently 245. So, I'm sure it's going to be about 25-to-30 pounds and keep my speed. I only gain good weight. I mean, the strength coach is incredible. He's done really good work with these guys, so I'm looking forward to it."
Like so many other recent Bulldog commits, Hendrickson cited a family atmosphere in Fresno as his main reason for committing. The honesty was refreshing and play a key role in Hendrickson's decision to attend Fresno.
"The family aspect thing is that these coaches are so personal," Hendrickson said. "They're so honest with everything that's going on. It's a relief in this recruitment process. So, every player says, 'yeah, it's a brotherhood.' I know every team tries to state their brotherhood, but this team -- from what I've witnessed, what I've seen, and what I felt there -- they are. They're all brothers. Everything you do at this school is for your brothers, for your coach. The coaches felt like a family. The coaches were hilarious, personal, and just super caring for the player. That's a big part of this family aspect."
Whatever DeRuyter and his staff said on this visit, Hendrickson couldn't soak in enough. He had to come back for four more years of these life lessons. Listening to Hendrickson describe his experience in Fresno, it's hard not to hear the voice of Bulldog head coach Tim DeRuyter and when he speaks.
"The coach told me straight up," Hendrickson said. "He said from the first phone call, 'this is what's going to happen. These are the steps we're going to take. This is what we want from you and what you can get from us.' There hasn't been one lie in this process. There hasn't been one false misinterpretation of anything. They haven't told me one thing that hasn't come true that they haven't told is going to happen.
"There's so much trust. Coach DeRuyter kind of follows these principles called trust and love -- you gotta trust each other, always tell the truth, trust in your brother, and trust what the program can do for you. Oh, I'm sorry: truth and love. Truth in your brother. Truth in everything. Never tell a lie. With the love part, you have to love what you're doing and love your players. That's what kind of builds the family aspect and just ties everything together, it seems like such a great way to play and great people to play for at the same time. It's been a really good experience."
DeRuyter's message for his players is simple: truth and love will get you pretty far in life. It will also win you plenty of football games. It just also happens to be a message that plays well in recruiting.
Stay tuned to FSBulldogs.com for more updates on the 2014 Fresno State recruiting class.
Josh Webb is a Staff Writer for FSBulldogs.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @BulldogsTwist.
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