2007 San Jose State Preview - Offense

Posted May 14, 2007

Preview 2007 San Jose State Spartan Offense Preview

San Jose State Spartans

Preview 2007 - Offense

- 2007 San Jose State Preview | 2007 SJSU Defense Preview
2007 San Jose State Depth Chart | 2006 CFN San Jose State Preview 

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.

Returning Leaders
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 Jibri Sharp
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Jalal Beauchman
Best pro prospect: Senior RB Yonus Davis (as a return man)
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 form.

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 throws available.
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 something happens.
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.
Rating: 7

Running Backs

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.

The 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 receiver.

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 blocking option.

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 involved.
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.
Rating: 6.5


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 receiver.

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.

Eventually, 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.

Senior Jacob 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 yards. 

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 disappointment.
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.
Rating: 5

Offensive Linemen

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 rushers.

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 presence.
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.


Related Stories
2007 San Jose State Preview
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  May 14, 2007
2007 San Jose State Preview - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  May 14, 2007
2007 San Jose State Preview - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  May 14, 2007

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