San Jose State
Preview 2007 - Offense
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2006 CFN San Jose
What you need to know: The offense wasn't always explosive,
but it was steady, didn't give the ball away, kept the chains
moving, and got the job done. Expect more of the same if the
offensive line can quickly replace three starters and the new
recruits for the receiving corps can play right away. The
passing game loses the top three targets and 141 of 181 catches,
so ultra-efficient QB Adam Tafralis has to be even better. Yonus
Davis leads a small, quick, veteran group of running backs that
can take it the distance with a little bit of room.
Passing: Adam Tafralis
181-276, 2,284 yds, 21 TD, 7 INT
Rushing: Yonus Davis
163 carries, 1,007 yds, 6 TD
Receiving: James T. Callier
12 catches, 99 yds, 3 TD
Star of the offense: Senior QB Adam Tafralis
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior OT
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Jalal Beauchman
Best pro prospect: Senior RB Yonus Davis (as a return
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Tafralis, 2)
Davis, 3) C Justin Paysinger
Strength of the offense: Quarterback, running back
Weakness of the offense:
Wide receiver, offensive line depth
Projected Starter: Senior Adam Tafralis went from being
an erratic passer who couldn't hit the broadside of a barn to an
ultra-efficient playmaker completing 66% of his passes for 2,284
yards and 21 touchdowns with seven interceptions. While not
necessarily a runner, he'll take off for positive yards
finishing third on the team with 224 yards and two scores. A
long-time starter with 24 games under his belt, he knows what
he's doing and where to go with the ball without forcing things.
The light bulb went on, and now he needs to be even better with
a brand new receiving corps to work with.
Projected Top Reserves: Junior Sean Flynn
was expected to show up from the JUCO ranks and push hard for
the starting job, and did, but ended up only completing one pass
for five yards after getting hurt and with the emergence of
Tafralis. He's a good runner with good 6-4, 215-pound size and a
live arm. He'll be the starter next year if everything goes to
It'll be a battle for the third spot between sophomore
Myles Eden and Chad Bozzo and redshirt freshman
Jordan La Secla. Bozzo, who got hurt last year and never had
much of a chance to show what he could do, and Eden have the
best running skills in the corps, while La Secla is a good
passer. However, if anyone other than Tafralis of Flynn are in,
there will be problems.
Watch Out For ... Tafralis to not necessarily be
better or as effective, but will still be fine. The lack of
receiving experience might mean it takes a while to produce big
plays meaning he'll have to make all the short to midrange
Strength: Flynn. The JUCO transfer has the talent
to step in and keep the offense humming if needed. Fortunately,
Tafralis is a durable passer, but things will be fine if
Weakness: Backup experience. Flynn has played at
the JUCO ranks, but not at the D-I level. No one else has any
appreciable experience, so there will be some nervous coaches
every time Tafralis takes a big shot.
Outlook: Everything's far, far better than it was
a year ago at this time. Who, outside of head coach Dick Tomey,
had any idea, Tafralis would go from lousy to a record setter?
He won't get any All-WAC considering in a league with Colt
Brennan and Chase Holbrook, but he should be almost as
effective. The backups need work.
Projected Starters: Generously listed at 5-7 and 180 pounds,
senior Yonus Davis is one of the toughest little backs in
the country. He's also a big-time home run hitter with a 90-yard
touchdown dash against Louisiana Tech to his credit on the way
to a 1,007-yard, six score season. While not big enough to be a
workhorse, he's good for around ten carries a game and makes the
most of them averaging 6.2 yards per dash. With his lightning
speed and quickness, he has to be used more as a receiver with
only seven catches for 86 yards and a touchdown last year.
offense doesn't necessarily use a fullback in a traditional
sense, but 218-pound senior James T. Callier serves
roughly the same role as a power runner with good receiving
skills finishing fourth on the team with 12 catches for 99 yards
and three touchdowns. The former linebacker is a good
power runner with 199 yards and two scores.
Projected Top Reserves: Junior Patrick Perry
got more and more work as last season went on splitting the
workload with Davis finishing with 454 yards and seven
touchdowns. Three of his scores came in a 28-13 win over Idaho
in a key late-season win, and now he should be ready to handle
the ball ten-plus times on a more regular basis. Extremely
quick, the 205-pounder should get the ball even more as a
5-9, 187-pound sophomore Cameron Island
mostly saw mop-up work becoming a
regular in the rotation for a few carries a game in the second
half of the year. Davis is fast, Perry is quick, Island is
really, really fast and extremely tough.
Backing up Callier will
be 6-0, 242-pound sophomore Mohamed Marah, who'll move
over from defensive end, but don't expect any carries. He made
six tackles in a limited role, and now he'll be used as a bigger
Watch Out For ... the Spartans to be among the WAC
leaders in rushing yet again. That might not seem like much of
an accomplishment in the pass-happy league, but they finished
20th in the nation in rushing and will again with Davis, Perry
and Callier to combine for around 2,000 yards. The stats will be
helped by the mobility of Adam Tafralis; he doesn't take sacks.
Strength: Speed. The tailbacks are threat to go
the distance on every play. Davis is gone when he gets the
corner, while Island will become dangerous once he gets more
Weakness: A workhorse. There isn't a 20-carry back
in the bunch to rely on to get hot. This is the ultimate
running-back-by-committee attack, which isn't necessarily a bad
thing to keep everyone fresh, but it would be nice if there was
someone to hammer with on a regular basis.
Outlook: Expect more of the same, but with the
backups getting more involved to make sure Davis is healthy for
the stretch run. There's a good mix of speed an power as long as
Callier stays involved, and now it's time to get everyone even
more work in the passing game.
Projected Starters: Don't get too comfortable with the starters
since they could all be bumped by the incoming recruiting class.
For now the starters will be sophomore Jalal Beauchman
and senior Michael Hooper, who combined for five catches
last season. Hooper is a 5-9, 163-pound speedster who hasn't
done much of anything so far in in his Spartan career, but he
became a dangerous target this spring with two touchdown passes
in the spring game. Beauchman is an interesting prospect with
6-4, 200-pound size and phenomenal athleticism able to crank out
6-6 in the high jump in high school. He's a young player still
growing into his potential.
Tight end is more settled than wide
receiver with 6-6, 235-pound Jeff Clark back after making
eight catches for 85 yards. While not a big part of the
offensive gameplan, the senior established himself as a good
blocker with the athleticism and hands to eventually play a big
role in the passing game.
Projected Top Reserves: Things will soon get very
interesting. JUCO transfer David Richmond is one of the
biggest recruits the program has gotten in several years. Wanted
by Oregon, the 6-4, 200-pound junior is an extraordinary athlete
catching 54 passes for 842 yards and nine touchdowns for Santa
Ana College in Anaheim. The downside? He's still raw. A star
basketball player, he's still learning how to become a top
Also coming in will be junior Kyle Flynn, a
6-2, 205-pound physical target who caught 44 passes for Los
Angeles Harbor College. The younger brother of backup
quarterback Sean Flynn, Kyle knows the program.
sophomore Terrance Williams will be a huge part of the
passing game once he gets healthy after missing all of last year
hurt. He's 6-5, 225 pounds, and athletic. After starting his
career at Eastern Illinois, he went to CC of San Francisco and
got hurt. For now, junior Kevin Jurovich will back up
Beachman after making seven tackles as a safety.
French is a running back moving over to receiver after
running for 62 yards in a limited role. While not all that fast,
he's a tough target with good hands catching eight passes for 70
Watch Out For ... things to be much different in the
middle of the season than they'll be at the start. The JUCO
transfers, along with freshmen Mike Avila and Josh Harrison,
will make the lineup far different. If Beachman and Hooper are
the only productive starters all year, it'll be a big
Strength: The potential. Richmond was a tremendous
get for the program. Beachman is a good-looking young prospect
who could grow into a number one
Weakness: Experience. There's no one, no one,
who has any real playing time. Considering the team has to
replace James Jones, John Broussard and Chester Coleman, this
will be the big concern going into the year.
Outlook: This will be the the team's wild-card.
Losing 141 of 181 catches with the loss of Jones, Broussard and
Coleman won't make the team any better, but San Jose State
always seems to find good, productive starters. The corps will
live and die with the emergence of the new recruits.
Projected Starters: Junior Justin Paysinger is back after
being a steady key to the great line. He's a good athlete who's great on
the move and fantastic in pass protection. He's growing into a good
enough all-around blocker to be in the hunt for All-WAC honors if he's
the rock in the middle he's expected to be.
The only other starter up
front is 6-4, 315-pound senior John Booker who's able to play
either guard or tackle. He started as a true freshman and has been a
great run blocker ever since. Better suited for the inside, he'll start
at right guard.
Next to him at tackle will be 6-6, 335-pound Bradis
McGriff, a transfer from Arizona State who got plenty of starting
time throughout last year serving as a surprisingly athletic pass
protector for his size.
6-4, 335-pound senior Jibri Sharp came
over from the JUCO ranks and saw time at guard. Now he'll take over the
left tackle job where he needs to prove he can be more consistent. Step
one will be to do a solid job of springing the quick backs on the
outside, step two will be keeping the quarterbacks clean against speed
277-pound sophomore Ronnie Castillo is the lightweight
up front, but he's experienced after seeing several starters last year.
Quick enough to play tackle, he'll start at left guard.
Projected Top Reserves: Senior Ryan Simone
is like another starter up front, but there needs to be a spot for him.
Mostly a center, the 306-pounder isn't going to knock Payinger out of a
spot. Originally a guard, he has the size, starting experience, and
power to step in if needed.
6-2, 298-pound senior David Giesen
has seen enough time to be part of the rotation on the right side behind
John Booker. He's not going to dominate anyone, but he's good for a
little bit of a breather here and there.
The most promising tackle
reserve is 6-5, 310-ound sophomore Joseph Zusin, who'll be
groomed behind McGriff on the right side. He has the size and
frame to grow into a key starter next year.
Watch Out For ... even more improvement in the
running game. This is a big, strong group that might not have a lot of
experience playing together, but should be tough to push around.
Strength: Size. This is a big, big line averaging
well over 300 pounds a man. Having 335 pounders like McGriff and Sharp
along with a 315-pound rock like Booker will give the Spartans a big
Weakness: Proven reserves. While there are only
two returning full-time starters, there's plenty of overall starting
experience. The backups need to quickly see time and be ready to provide
a quality depth. That might take a little while.
Outlook: The line was terrific last season
allowing just 18 sacks and paving the way for 176 rushing yards per
game. Don't expect the same production right off the bat, but this is a
very big, very strong line that should turn out to be fine after getting
over a few rough patches.