On Tuesday, Fresno State head football coach Jeff Tedford updated us on the health of his top two running backs from a year ago.
The head coach confirmed at Tuesday morning’s practice that junior Jordan Mims, the Bulldogs second-leading rusher last season, had surgery on his ankle last week and will be out for the season.
Tedford also said junior Ronnie Rivers, the Bulldogs leading rusher last season, pulled his hamstring right before the start of camp, and that’s why he hasn’t yet been a full participant at practice. Rivers was doing individual drills off to the side Tuesday, and Tedford thinks he’ll be back as a full participant in the next few days.
“He’s getting close, he’s getting real close,” said Tedford. “We wanna make sure we’re safe with that.”
Mims is a big loss. He has played in 26 games in his first two years at Fresno State, scoring 14 total touchdowns, and accounting for 1063 rushing yards over that span. He’s also been a consistent threat in the passing game out of the backfield.
He missed the Mountain West Championship game, and the Las Vegas Bowl last season, after initially injuring his ankle in the regular-season finale against San Jose State. He then missed spring practice as well. Mims has a redshirt year available, so he’ll still have two years of eligibility remaining.
With Mims out, and Rivers working his way back to full health, it’s opened up some opportunities for other running backs to make an impression. Juniors Romello Harris and Saevion Johnson, and true freshman Peyton Dixon, are other running backs on the roster that could end up having a bigger role.