Head coach Pat Hill calls this year's signees his best at Fresno State.
Feb. 2, 2000
FRESNO, Calif. - Coming off a WAC Championship and EA Sports Las Vegas Bowl appearance, Fresno State football coach Pat Hill and his staff hit the state and gathered an "excellent" recruiting class.
"This is the best group we've brought in since I've been here," Hill said of his 22 signings, which included 21 high school prospects and one junior college player. "I'm very happy with the group. Our staff worked really hard. These are the kind of players who are going to make us competitive with the type of future schedules we will play and the sights we have set for this program. We want the type of players who are committed to winning championships every year and playing in bowl games every year."
Among the 22 players are seven linemen, five linebackers, three receivers, two quarterbacks, two defensive backs, one running back, one tight end and a punter.
Following is a list of the 2000 Fresno State football signings:
--- David Adamo, 6-2, 235, LB/DE, Clovis, Calif. (Clovis West)
--- George Bensen, 6-2, 300, DL, Oakland, Calif. (Skyline)
--- Clarence Denning, 6-3, 250, DE, Modesto, Calif. (Modesto Christian)
--- Eliu Fatu, 6-3, 220, LB, Santa Ana, Calif. (Santa Ana)
--- Therrian Fontenot, 6-0, 180, RB, Lawndale, Calif. (Leuzinger)
--- Peter Hingano, 6-0, 215, RB/LB, Sanger, Calif. (Sanger)
--- Lenny McCormick, 6-0, 170, WR, Clovis, Calif. (Clovis)
--- Jamal Jones, 6-0, 220, LB, Oakland, Calif. (Skyline)
--- Paul Pinegar, 6-5, 200, QB, Woodland, Calif. (Woodland)
--- Nathan Ray, 6-1, 190, QB, Colfax, Calif. (Colfax)
--- Claude Sanders, 6-3, 215, DE, San Diego, Calif. (Madison)
--- Robert Santiago, 6-5, 280, DL, San Dimas, Calif. (San Dimas)
--- Fai Satele, 6-1, 270, DL, Carson, Calif. (Carson)
--- Jason Simpson, 6-1, 185, P, Garden Grove, Calif. (Fullerton College)
--- Chris Sims, 6-1, 175, WR, Clovis, Calif. (Clovis)
--- Roy Sims, 6-5, 305, DL, Hollister, Calif. (Hollister)
--- Eric Stewart, 6-2, 220, LB, San Bernardino, Calif. (San Bernardino)
--- Kevin Tennerson, 5-10, 190, DB/RB, Citrus Heights, Calif. (Mesa Verde)
--- Tamarcus Tyson, 6-3, 270, DE, Oakland, Calif. (Fremont)
--- Jason Washington, 6-1, 190, WR, El Cerrito, Calif. (El Cerrito)
--- Mark Wood, 6-4, 225, TE, Upland, Calif. (Upland)
--- Rodney Woods, 5-9, 175, DB, Lancaster, Calif. (Littlerock)
David Adamo, 6-2, 235, LB/DE, Clovis, Calif. (Clovis West)
Selected to the Fresno Bee All-Star team as a linebacker ... had 39 solo tackles and assisted 78 others ... intercepted three passes and had two fumble recoveries ... a physical linebacker who runs well.
George Bensen, 6-2, 300, DL, Oakland, Calif. (Skyline)
Played just one full season at Skyline High and was one of the most dominating defensive players in the Bay Area ... had 85 tackles, 38 of them unassisted ... had 22 tackles for loss and 10 quarterback sacks ... intercepted one pass, forced four fumbles, recovering two and had six batted passes ... selected to the All-A&G Newspapers Team for the Bay Area and named All-City.
Clarence Denning, 6-3, 250, DE, Modesto, Calif. (Modesto Christian)
A first-team Modesto Bee All-District selection after registering 138 tackles, 45 solos and 13 quarterback sacks ... an All-Southern League selection ... considered the most intimidating defensive player in the area because of his size and explosiveness ... he had 14 tackles for losses ... had a reputation for chasing down running backs in the open field ... he rushed for 874 yards and 13 touchdowns as a fullback on offense ... Arkansas and Cal also recruited him.
Eliu Fatu, 6-2, 220, LB, Santa Ana, Calif. (Santa Ana)
(pronounced: E-lu Fah-too)
Selected All-CIF Division VI ... a first team All-Century League ... was named the Defensive MVP in the Century League ... named first-team All-Orange County.
Therrian Fontenot, 6-0, 180, RB, Lawndale, Calif. (Leuzinger)
(pronounced: There-ee-an Fon-ten-oh)
First-team All-Bay League and was the Most Outstanding Player in the Bay League ... First-team all-area and South Bay Player of the Year ... selected All-CIF Div II and All-State ... had 232 carries for 2,057 yards for an average of 8.87 per carry and 33 touchdowns ... had 20 two-point conversions and scored 212 points ... averaged 158.2 yards rushing per game and 17.6 points per game ... threw two touchdown passes ... played inside linebacker and had 117 tackles and blocked a punt ... excelled on special teams ... was the Ocean League 100-meter champion and qualified for the CIF championships ... was recruited by Arizona and Utah.
Peter Hingano, 6-0, 215, RB/LB, Sanger, Calif. (Sanger)
Rushed for 1,697 yards last season ... had record 410 rushing yards vs. Reedley ... selected to the Fresno Bee All-Star second team.
Lenny McCormick, 6-0, 170, WR, Clovis, Calif. (Clovis)
Had 51 receptions for 1,110 yards and 12 touchdowns ... Averaged 21.8 yards per reception ... Led the Central Section in receiving yards ... selected to the Fresno Bee All-Star team ... played on the CIF Championship team at Clovis ... recruited by Cal and Oregon State ... Clovis was 12-1 last season.
Jamal Jones, 6-0, 220, LB, Oakland, Calif. (Skyline)
All-Oakland Athletic League and first-team All-A&G Newspapers team, selected for the best players in the entire East Bay Area ... Finished the season with 110 total tackles, 43 solos and 27 tackles for losses ... had seven quarterback sacks ... Skyline's defense allowed the fewest yards in the league ... in his three years as a starter, his team posted a 30-4 record ... holds the Oakland Athletic League record in the discus ... an outstanding student with a 3.59 GPA, he has received several academic awards ... selected all-league three times ... ninth rated prospect in the East Bay Area ... recruited by Cal.
Paul Pinegar, 6-5, 200, QB, Woodland, Calif. (Woodland)
Played his senior season with a torn ligament in his thumb and completed 89-167 passes for 1,520 yards and 15 touchdowns with only six interceptions in nine games ... for his two-year career, he completed 167-327 for 3,136 yards and 37 touchdowns with 10 interceptions ... selected first-team All-Delta League each of the last two years ... selected to the all-state underclassmen baseball team and is expected to be drafted in June Major League draft.
Nate Ray, 6-1, 195, QB, Colfax, Calif. (Colfax)
Selected the Sacramento Bee Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for a Sac-Joaquin Section record 3,722 yards and 41 touchdowns last season ... ran for 637 yards and 10 touchdowns ... was selected the MVP of the Golden Empire League ... over a two-year career, he led Colfax to a 20-3 record and threw for 5,289 yards and 59 touchdowns.
Claude Sanders, 6-3, 215, DE, San Diego, Calif. (Madison)
First-team All-Central League and was the Central League Defensive Player of the Year ... A second-team All-CIF in San Diego ... led Madison in tackles with 141 in 10 games with 10 sacks ... caused five fumbles and recovered three and scored a touchdown on defense ... is the Central League champion in the 100 and 200 meters ... played 70% on offense as a slot receiver ... recruited by Utah, USC and Washington State.
Robert Santiago, 6-5, 280, DL, San Dimas, Calif. (San Dimas)
Selected first-team All-Inland Valley and named to the First-team All-Valle Vista squad ... was selected All-CIF Division 9 ... big physical defensive lineman ... is currently 19-2 as heavyweight wrestler.
Fai Satele, 6-1, 270, DL, Carson, Calif. (Carson)
(pronounced: Fah-ee Sah-tell-ee)
Rated one of the best defensive line prospects on the west coast ... had 92 tackles and six quarterback sacks in 14 games ... ranked the 108th best player in the Far West by Superprep Magazine ... recruited by San Diego State, Oregon and BYU.
Jason Simpson, 6-1, 185, P, Garden Grove, Calif. (Fullerton College)
Honorable Mention All-American by the J.C. Grid-wire ... a good athlete ... was selected first-team All-Mission Conference as a punter and second-team All-Mission Conference as a wide receiver ... led the conference in average yards per punt with 41.8 ... had 12 punts inside the 20 and 11 of 50 or more yards ... last season had 55 punts for 2,299 yards with a long punt of 72 ... had 32 receptions for 540 yards and three touchdowns with a long of 65 yards.
Chris Sims, 6-1, 175, WR, Clovis, Calif. (Clovis)
Had 51 receptions for 1,021 yards and a league-leading 15 touchdowns ... ranked second in the section behind teammate and Fresno State signee Lenny McCormick in receiving yards ... selected to the Fresno Bee All-Star first team ... Clovis was 12-1 last season.
Roy Sims, 6-5, 305, DL, Hollister, Calif. (San Benito)
A first-team All-Section pick and a two-time all-league first-team selection ... was named the team Most Valuable Player and league's Most Valuable Defensive lineman ... selected team captain ... a three-year starter.
Eric Stewart, 6-2, 220, LB, San Bernadino, Calif. (San Bernadino)
Played both linebacker and tight end ... is projected to play linebacker ... runs well and can get to the football ... has 29 receptions for 498 yards and three touchdowns on offense ... earned All-San Andreas League honors and All-CIF Southern Section Division VIII.
Kevin Tennerson, 5-10, 190, DB/RB, Mesa Verda, Calif. (Citrus Heights)
Played in just seven games due to injuries but managed to rush for over 1,300 yards and scored 22 touchdowns ... selected to the Sacramento Bee All-Area second team as a running back... recruited by Cal and Arizona.
Tamarcus Tyson, 6-3, 270, DE, Oakland, Calif. (Fremont)
All-A&G Newspapers Bay Area team and earned first team all-city honors in Oakland as an offensive lineman ... was a second-team selection as a defensive lineman ... helped Fremont produce a 1,400-yard rusher and his team ran behind him 80% of the plays... a dominating lineman who is expected to shine as a defensive player at Fresno State ... selected the 20th best prospect in the East Bay Area ... recruited by Washington State.
Jason Washington, 6-1, 190, WR, El Cerrito, Calif. (El Cerrito)
Sat out two games but had 32 receptions for 726 yards (22.7 yards) and 12 touchdowns .... El Cerrito was 10-0 during the regular season but lost in first round of the playoffs. played in just nine games ... a big play receiver ... first-team All-ACCAL and first-team All-A&G Newspapers for the East Bay Area ... rated the 83rd best prospect in the Far West by Superprep Magazine ... ranked the sixth-best prospect in the East Bay ... compared to UCLA's Danny Farmer and former Cal receiver Sean Dawkins ... recruited by Arizona State and Oregon State.
Mark Wood, 6-4, 225, TE, Upland, Calif. (Upland)
An All-CIF Southern Section Division II selection and second-team Southern Section ... finished second on his team in receptions ... had 29 receptions for 422 yards and four touchdowns ... selected first-team All-Baseline Conference.
Rodney Woods, 5-9, 175, DB, Lancaster, Calif. (Littlerock)
An excellent athlete who is expected to find a home in the Bulldog secondary ... as a running back he rushed for 1,510 yards and 17 touchdowns ... had 318 yards against Antelope Valley High School ... selected to the All-CIF Division III team.