The Bulldogs were able to keep Kingsburg (Calif.) defensive tackle Ryan Steele close home when they signed him last February. Since then Steele has been using most of his extra time to get himself ready to compete for playing time this fall.
"Ryan has been really working hard in the weight room and he's been out running," Kingsburg head coach Dave Steele said. "He's just getting ready. He has Fresno State's lifting program to help him get on track on what they want him to do. He's slimming up, but staying at about the same weight, so he is putting on good weight. Right now he is weighing 291."
Fresno State already has a pretty clear idea where they want Steele to play once he arrives on campus.
"Fresno State will be playing Ryan at the nose," Steele said. "Their defensive line coach, Pete Germano, was the one who recruited Ryan in our area. He wasn't worried about him being heavy, he wanted him to come in shape, so Ryan has really been working on that. He looks a better, physically. He looks really good right now."
In addition to Fresno State, Steele had offers from Nevada, Utah State and New Mexico State. The Kingsbury head coach reminds why his talented nephew decided on the Bulldogs.
"Ryan really liked the coaching staff and it's a local school," Steele said. "He's known a lot about Fresno State and it was just the opportunity that he has the chance come in and compete early on. He can stay local and his family and friends can come see him play.
"Coach Tim DeRuyter has done a great job there. Ryan is really excited about being at Fresno State and it was a good fit for him. He just felt really at home there. He felt that the players, the guys he met, and coaching staff, he just really liked it."
Steele also likes how the Fresno community supports the team.
"There is a lot of Bulldog red around the city and there are a lot of Fresno State fans," Steele said. "It's neat for Ryan to play in front of a lot of people that have been supporting him and supporting the school.
"Fresno State's success last year is being built upon and I think the Bulldogs are going to do really well next year. Ryan is excited to be a part of that."
There is a chance that if everything comes together Steele could work his way into the rotation as a true freshman.
"The returning starter, and I have talked to Coach Germano, too, they have been pretty open about it, the returning starter is very good," Steele said. "The returning starter is going to be a redshirt junior, but they expect the line to come in, because they do rotate their guys a lot and the starter is going to have to be rotated out in that backend. So, they're looking for Ryan to fill that spot, get some time and contribute.
"It's all going to be determined once it gets going if Ryan is going to redshirt. He hopes to play as a true freshman, but the idea of what they want is for him to come in, compete right away and be that guy who can sub in during a series or during a quarter. Stuff like that and that's exciting for Ryan. He wants to contribute and he wants to be a part of it and he is going to do everything he can to make that happen.
"Ryan actually will start summer school on June 10th. He's going in early and get it going right off the bat. He's not going to get much of a break after high school graduation. He's going to get right into the groove of things. It will be good for him."
Stay tuned to FSBulldogs.com for more updates on the Fresno State 2014 recruiting class. You can follow us on Twitter at @FresnoDogs.