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January 30, 2014

Arturo Gomez calls Bulldogs his family




Bulldog offensive line coach Cameron Norcross has slowly been amassing an army of talent on the offensive line. Downey (Calif.) offensive tackle Arturo Gomez is the latest addition and he becomes the fifth offensive line commit for Fresno State in 2013. There are actually six if you count the possibility of Kyle Riddering, but he is likely to play tight end.

The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Gomez was originally recruited by former Bulldog defensive backs coach Dave Brown, but Norcross got involved midway through Gomez's recruiting process. Norcross continued to recruit Gomez even after Brown left and he's a big reason Gomez is going to be singing with Fresno next Wednesday.

"Who actually found me was Coach Brown, but he went somewhere else," Gomez said. "Then Coach Norcross took over half way and I've been talking to him ever since. He'll joke around. He'll take a joke if you've got one for him and he's real funny about it. He makes you feel like family. From day one, that's all he would preach to me and that kind of stuff. That's why I really bought into it."

The continued theme of family seems to be working well with the recruits. Head coach Tim DeRuyter has been spreading a message of love and Gomez said that his different recruiting pitch really spoke to him.

"It spoke to me," Gomez said."I think the biggest thing to me was that they're not just recruiting you just for a football player. They're there for more than just football. If you ever need anything, like someone to talk to, you can go talk to them. They're not just football coaches. They're there to mentor you and be your family while you're away from home.

"Love is what they preach. By that they mean, obviously, you're going to compete and you're going to try to win your spot. But at the same time, we're a family out there and we've got to love each other no matter what."

Gomez said there was more to love about Fresno. He said the way the fans embrace the team and players helps to create the family atmosphere.

"I loved the atmosphere and the crowd," Gomez said. I love how they're the only team in the Valley and everyone around them supports them. So they have a really big crowd, the family type feel that you get from being there."

While Gomez doesn't plan to move from tackle, but has no problem with any position that gets him in the lineup. This works out well for Norcross, who told Gomez that he plans to play the best guy he has.

"Well, he said if I'm good enough, then it will be tackle," Gomez said. "He said he'll play his best five, so if I make it on to best five, they'll find a spot for me. He's thinking either tackle or maybe left guard if it comes down to it. He really didn't mention right tackle. He said left tackle, but his philosophy is he's going to start his best five. If I can make it on to the best five and he already has set for left tackle -- I'm guessing he wants to keep me at tackle, so it'll probably be right tackle."

Gomez will also fit right in with the physical brand of football Fresno State is working to put on the field. He has no problem getting down the field and hitting someone.

"My biggest strength I'd say is pass blocking, Gomez said. "I'd say that's what I enjoy the most. But, I like to run block, as well. I like getting physical and getting after people."

That will be fine with Norcross. After all, it's the type of line he's putting together and Gomez is one of the final pieces.

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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