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Who Will be Bulldogs' Starting QB at NM Bowl? It's a Secret
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 2 years ago on
December 14, 2021

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The starting quarterback for Fresno State won’t be known until kickoff, interim coach Lee Marks told the media.

Marks is keeping his choice a secret. Will it be untested Jaylen Henderson or Logan Fife? Or Jake Haener — the season-long starter who briefly left through the transfer portal?

“We’re keep everything, obviously, in-house of how we’re going to handle (the starter and playing time) right now. But again, those guys are doing a really, really good job in the (quarterbacks) room,” Marks said of Henderson and Fife. Fresno State officials encouraged the media not to ask questions about Haener.

Haener, a fifth-year senior, started all 12 games this season, ranking ninth in the nation in both passing yards (3,810) and completions (303), and 11th in touchdowns (32). He briefly left the team after head coach Kalen DeBoer left for Washington.

Fife, a redshirt freshman from Tracy, mopped up in the season-opening win versus UConn, throwing 7-for-13 for 51 yards, with a touchdown and interception.

Henderson, a true freshman from Los Angeles, played in three games, throwing 5-for-8 for 49 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. A player can participate in up to four games in a season and keep a redshirt (extra) year of eligibility.

Haener has practiced since announcing his return to Fresno State last week. Marks wouldn’t tip his hand on who is getting the reps.

“We’re not going to share that information,” Marks said.

Fresno State interim head coach Lee Marks is not revealing who the starting quarterback will be at the New Mexico Bowl. (GV Wire/David Taub)

The Bowl Experience

Fresno State leaves for Albuquerque on Tuesday, where they will maintain a regular week of practice. They will also be involved in several bowl activities.

Sounding like a seasoned coach, Marks says playing in an extra game is “big.”

“(The team) get the chance to go and travel down to Albuquerque and spend time in a hotel and do different bowl events  — all that stuff is going to be fun. They get to be with their teammates. And just how awesome is that, that they get a chance, they get an opportunity to do that and just have that experience as something that they’ll never forget,” Marks said.

Marks looks forward to sending players to a local elementary school.

“Stuff like that means more than a football game. You have a chance to impact young people that are looking up to you,” Marks said.

Head Coach Experience

Marks has said he desires to be a head coach beyond his interim assignment.

“I’m just taking a ton of notes because that’s how you learn, just by actually going through the experience yourself. Because I would say this, I don’t think anyone’s really ready to be a head coach, but the only way you can do that is through opportunity and the actual experience,” Marks said.

What’s the most unexpected part of being the head man?

“I have to sign my name on the dotted line, signing things off,” Marks said.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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