Estevan Barragan picked up a to-go meal from the Fresno State football facility on Thanksgiving.
Barragan, a redshirt freshman running back with the Bulldogs, didn’t get to celebrate the holiday in Ceres with loved ones.
Barragan phoned home from his apartment.
“That’s the first time I didn’t spend Thanksgiving with my family,” the 2018 Central Valley High School grad said. “We have everything. My mom makes pumpkin and sweet potato pies. My uncle does the smoked turkey. It definitely sucked not seeing everybody. But I didn’t want to put them or myself in danger.”
Fresno State had to cancel its last two games and multiple practices in recent weeks due to COVID-19 tracing within the football program.
“It was bound to happen with how COVID has been going crazy here in Fresno,” Barragan said. “As soon as they found out who was positive, they sent us home. We had to quarantine for seven days before getting tested. I’m happy I’m negative and haven’t got it. I just have to be careful.”
“Coaches have done a great job in the football facilities,” Barragan added. “They can’t control what we’re doing when we’re not there. All I can do is worry about what I can control by not putting myself in danger by hanging out in big groups. I do homework, go to practice, work out and watch football. That’s my day.”
Fresno State was supposed to play against San Diego State last Friday and San Jose State on Nov. 21. Both Mountain West games were canceled and will not be rescheduled.
“Though we have dutifully followed all proper protocols, and have received continual guidance from the Fresno County Department of Public Health, we unfortunately have confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 within our football program,” Fresno State Director of Athletics Terry Tumey said. “In coordination with the Fresno County Department of Public Health and extensive contract tracing efforts, we have identified additional student-athletes who, per public health protocols, are required to be quarantined as a precaution.”
“The large majority of our football program will continue forward with team activities in preparation for the remainder of our 2020 schedule,” Tumey added. “At this time, we look forward to the opportunity to compete at Nevada on December 5. As always, the health and safety of our student-athletes, staff, and campus community remain our first priority.”
Barragan and the Bulldogs were cleared to practice this past week.
“We’ve been preparing for Nevada,” he said. “I’ve been doing well on special teams and running the ball.”
Fresno State (3-1) will travel to Nevada this week to face the Wolf Pack (5-1).
The game will be aired on FS2 this Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Barragan was recognized by Fresno State’s football program on Nov. 15.
He earned Scout Team Player of the Week honors.
Barragan was rewarded for his contributions on special teams.
Barragan hopes to be added to the Bulldogs’ active roster in the near future.
He fractured the ring and dislocated the middle fingers on his right hand during a live scrimmage leading up to Fresno State-Colorado State contest on Oct. 29.
“It doesn’t hurt as bad,” Barragan said. “The swelling has gone down. I’m doing finger exercises to get the muscles stronger.”
Fresno State opened the 2020 season with a 34-19 loss to Hawaii on Oct. 24 at Bulldog Stadium.
Barragan suited up for the game.
He was a second-string player on special teams.
Barragan watched from the stands as host Fresno State pulled away for a 38-17 victory over Colorado State.
Barragan, who stands just 5-foot-7 and weighs 170 pounds, beat the odds last fall by earning a roster spot at Fresno State.
He made history by becoming the first student-athlete from Central Valley High School to suit up for an NCAA Division-I football program.
Barragan helped prepare Fresno State’s starting defense for games as a scout-team running back.
He suited up for all of the Bulldogs’ home contests in 2019.
He stood on the sidelines but didn’t log any playing time.
Fresno State compiled a 4-8 overall record and tied for last in the Mountain West standings (2-6).
“Most of my teammates know my story,” Barragan said. “They know the challenges I’ve faced. I’m trying to learn how to become a better running back and teammate. I always attack practice like I have nobody’s respect. You have to earn respect every day. I’m working on getting a scholarship.”
Barragan graduated from Central Valley High School in 2018.
He was a standout at the varsity level for three seasons.
Barragan was named the Western Athletic Conference’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player his senior year.
He rushed for 1,111 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He hauled in 31 passes for 503 yards and two TDS.
Barragan earned second-team all-league honors on defense.
He had 110 tackles, one interception, two pass deflections and one forced fumble at safety.
Barragan was a first-team all-league defensive selection his junior and sophomore years.
Barragan’s teams at Central Valley also experienced success.
The Hawks amassed a 21-11 overall record, won one conference title and qualified for the playoffs twice from 2015-17.