When Fresno State head football coach Jeff Tedford stepped down in December to focus on his health and family, Estevan Barragan had concerns about his future with the Bulldogs.
Tedford awarded the 2018 Central Valley High School grad a spot on the team as a walk-on player last year.
“I’m still going to be a part of the team,” said Barragan, a 5-foot-8 173-pound running back. “I’m going to do what I can to impress the new coaches when the opportunity comes.”
Barragan met Kalen DeBoer, Tedford’s successor, in February.
“I like the new coaching staff,” he said. “They’re getting to know me. They’re asking questions. My running backs coach (Lee Marks) is from Boise State. He’s talks about family. He wants us to be great all-round people.”
Unable to practice and meet in-person for the remainder of the spring semester due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Barragan and his teammates have used Zoom and FaceTime to connect with their coaches.
“They’re making sure everyone is working out and learning the playbook,” Barragan said.
Barragan recently played in the Fresno State Football Madden NFL 20 Tournament.
Barragan finished in the top eight in the 16-man bracket.
He compiled a 1-1 record.
He beat fellow running back McKinley Lee 17-14 in the first round.
He lost 31-17 to eventual-champion/kicker Asa Fuller in the quarterfinals.
Barragan used the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Our strength coach set up the bracket,” Barragan. “I hadn’t played Madden 20 before. I had to buy the game online. I had so much fun. At least I lost to the guy that won the whole thing.”
Barragan’s academic workload hasn’t changed.
He has classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Lectures are held remotely using Zoom.
“Nothing changed except everything is online,” Barragan said. “I still have the same schedule. We get all of our assignments from our professors on Canvas. I miss having in-person class. You have to be the teacher now. You have to stay focused.”
Barragan will be prepared to prove himself once again when football resumes at Fresno State.
“We don’t know when we’re going to be back,” Barragan said. “They told us to stay focused and be ready. I’ve been going to Neel Park and Pitman High School. I go three days a week. I work on my flexibility, speed and change of direction. The other days, I’m lifting. I’m really trying to better myself.”
Barragan made history last fall when he became the first student-athlete from Central Valley High School to make a NCAA Division-I football roster.
He suited up at running back on the scout team during practices.
He helped prepare Fresno State’s first-team defense for games.
Barragan dressed for all of the Bulldogs’ home contests.
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).
Barragan starred on Central Valley’s varsity football team for three seasons.
He was named the Western Athletics Conference’s Most Outstanding Offensive Players 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.