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Jake Haener status: Will Fresno State quarterback play in bowl vs. UTEP?

The Fresno State QB withdrew his name from the transfer portal and is locked into the program for another year. He will suit up against UTEP for today’s New Mexico Bowl.

Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Jake Haener (9) throws under pressure from San Diego State Aztecs defensive lineman Keshawn Banks (2) in the second half at Dignity Health Sports Park. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Update: Haener will get the nod for today’s bowl game.

The Fresno State Bulldogs are set to face the UTEP Miners in the New Mexico Bowl this afternoon at 2:15 p.m. ET and the biggest question heading in is whether or not quarterback Jake Haener will get the start under center.

The gritty QB withdrew his name from the transfer portal last week, indicating that he was returning to the Valley for another year. He’s participated in practices and bowl prep this week but interim head coach Lee Marks has remained mum on who will get the start against the Miners today. It could be Haener, redshirt freshman Logan Fife or true freshman Jaylen Henderson.

A senior out of Danville, CA, Haener spent a year at Washington before transferring to Fresno State in 2019. After sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules, he emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the Mountain West in 2020 and continued his success into 2021. This fall, he led the Bulldogs to a 9-3 campaign, throwing for 3,810 yards, 32 touchdowns, and nine interceptions to earn Second-Team All-MWC honors.

Following the departure of head coach Kalen DeBoar to Washington, Haener entered the transfer portal where it was widely speculated that he’d follow his coach and return to Seattle. However, he’s sticking it out in Fresno and we’ll see if he’ll get the chance to lead his team to a 10th victory in New Mexico.