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CV grad impresses Fresno State coaches
• Barragan earns ‘Scout Team Player of the Week’ honors for special teams
Estevan Barragan odds
Central Valley grad Estevan Barragan beat the odds last fall by earning a roster spot on the Fresno State football team. The 5-foot-7 170-pound running back earned Scout Team Player of the Week honors on Sunday. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo

Estevan Barragan was recognized by Fresno State’s football program on Nov. 15.

The redshirt freshman running back earned Scout Team Player of the Week honors.

“I found out on Sunday during our meetings,” the 2018 Central Valley High School grad said. “For the coaches to reward me is pretty cool. I practice very hard. I treat practices like games.”

Barragan was honored for his contributions on special teams.

He helped prepare the Bulldogs for last Saturday’s game at Utah State. Fresno State prevailed, 35-16.

“It’s just another step to getting on the field again,” he said.

Barragan hopes to be added to Fresno State’s active roster in the near future.

He refuses to let a hand injury keep him off the practice field.

“I’m doing treatment on my fingers in the mornings and evenings with my teammates,” he said. “They don’t hurt as bad as they used to. I’m progressing. My coaches understand how bad I want to be out there. I’m not going to sit out at practice. I have another hand. If my whole arm was cut off, I’d still want to play football.”

Barragan 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.

He scored two rushing touchdowns and caught a pass at practice the next day.

“My next appointment with my hand specialist is on November 25,” he said. “He’ll check movement and strength. Pain isn’t a factor for me. I’m still practicing. I put a plastic splint over my glove and tape my middle, ring and pinkie fingers together. I don’t need surgery. It’s going to take six months for it to completely heal.”

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.

“I enjoy every moment I have when I get to put on that uniform,” he said. 

Barragan watched from the stands as host Fresno State pulled away for a 38-17 victory over Colorado State on Oct. 29.

“I would have had a chance to get on the field because we did really well as a team,” he said. “A lot of the freshmen played.”

Fall sports had been postponed on Aug. 10 due to COVID-19.

The Bulldogs are supposed to play an eight-game schedule.

The Mountain West Championship Game is scheduled for Dec. 19.

Fresno State will have no spectators at its home games.

“We haven’t had any positive cases,” said Barragan, who gained an extra year of eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic.  “I’m thankful. Our coaches always remind us to be safe and make smart choices. COVID still exists and you can get it from anybody.”

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.”