McIntyre to replace all-WAC defensive end in Silicon Valley Classic
Fresno State true freshman Garrett McIntyre will play in his first Division-I college bowl game Tuesday in a larger role than he likely ever imagined.
Dan Brown, the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator told The Associated Press that McIntyre, a 2001 graduate from South Tahoe High School, and sophomore Claude Sanders will replace all-Western Athletic Conference defensive end Nate Burley in the third annual Silicon Valley Football Classic in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday.
Burley is one of six Fresno State players who are ineligible for Tuesday’s game because of academic problems.
A new WAC rule requires athletes to pass at least six credits to play in a bowl game. Six players fall short of that requirement, the school said. The Fresno Bee reported that they are Burley, linebacker Sam Williams, wide receiver Marque Davis, cornerback Demorieux Reneau, left guard Fitu Tu’ua and linebacker David Adamo. All but Adamo are starters.
Burley and Williams traveled to San Jose with the team Friday but were sent home. The other four players did not make the trip. Another player is awaiting the results of his fall semester grades, but the newspaper reported that he’s not a starter.
Burley, an all-WAC player, leads the Bulldogs in sacks and tackles for loss.
McIntyre, who originally walked onto the team without a scholarship, planned to redshirt his freshman year. But coaches were impressed by his skill and work ethic and promoted him first to special teams and then to the nickel package and defensive tackle.
McIntyre, who was the named Defensive Player of the Year in the Northern Nevada while in high school as well as Tribune athlete of the year, continued to impress his coaches, making 14 solo tackles and assisting on six others. He also made three sacks for a total loss of 26 yards.
The banner year for a walk-on true freshman earned McIntyre a spot on The Sporting News All-WAC Freshmen team, led by WAC Freshman of the Year Paul Pinegar. Also honored were receiver Jermaine Jamison, offensive guard Dartangnon Shack, offensive tackle Matt Stevenson, safety James Sanders and return specialist Adam Jennings.
McIntyre suffered a major setback against Nevada when he went down with a sprained MCL, which caused him to miss the SJSU game.
The Silicon Valley Football Classic will start at 12:30 and be broadcast on ESPN2.
The Bulldogs (8-5, 6-2 WAC) haven’t had a bowl game victory since 1992, when they defeated USC 24-7. The game marks the school’s fourth consecutive bowl appearance and third in a row in the SVFC.
For the second consecutive season, Fresno State will play a new opponent in its bowl game. In last year’s bowl game, Fresno State played Michigan State and lost 44-35.
Not only have the Bulldogs never played Georgia Tech (7-5), they have never played a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
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