Although he’s never started a game for Fresno State before, quarterback Jorge Reyna is making progress a couple weeks into fall camp.
“It’s going good as a collective whole,” Reyna said. “We’re getting better. We’re understanding the playbook. We’re understanding the intent. Everybody’s competing with each other, raising the competition even higher.”
Head coach Jeff Tedford named Reyna the starter in the Spring after former quarterback Marcus McMaryion graduated.
Reyna received very little playing time last season as the backup, completing 8 of 12 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed nine times for 75 yards.
But after sitting behind McMaryion for two years, he’s ready to take over and has progressed since the Spring.
“He looks comfortable,” Tedford said. “He’s got a really good grasp of what we’re doing. But it’s a whole different level right now with the whole team here. There’s a lot more game-time situations that we do now.”
One of the challenges Reyna faces is building a rapport with a new group of receivers. Derrion Grim is the most experienced returning receiver, but he only had 20 receptions last season.
Although the position is thin on experience, Reyna is happy with what he sees out of the young group.
“The receivers are amazing, all of them,” Reyna said. “Everybody’s giving their best, and it’s great. Everybody’s catching it. I’m feeling comfortable with the playbook.”
Reyna signed with the Bulldogs in 2017 after playing for West Los Angeles College for two years. He completed 70.5 percent of his passes in his final season in junior college. He threw for 3,646 yards and 39 touchdowns. He also rushed for 386 yards and seven touchdowns.
When he signed his letter of intent, he wasn’t focused on coming to Fresno State to grab attention and make headlines – he put his head down and went to work immediately.
“When I first signed here, I was just glad I had an opportunity to play under coach Tedford,” Reyna said. “Honestly, I just wanted to learn his playbook, his mentality. Hopefully he takes me to the next level mentally.”
The mental aspect is arguably more important for quarterbacks than any other position, and Reyna made strides over the summer not only with the playbook.
“I think the extra few months for him has been great for his growth as far as his comfort level of being a leader, I think more than anything,” Tedford said.
With the opening game at USC quickly arriving, Reyna will return to his hometown of Los Angeles. He grew up in Downey and played for Downey High School for three seasons before finishing his high school career at Pasadena High School
Returning home for his first start could be a distraction, but Reyna said he’s completely focussed on the team and preparing to win the game.
“I owe my whole undivided attention to my guys, to my job, to what I need to do to get the chains moving and come out with a win,” Reyna said. “But other than that, for the fans, it will be great. It will be fun coming home, but I’m just focused on being the best I can be for my team.”