2008 San Jose State Preview - Offense
San Jose State WR Kevin Jurovich
San Jose State WR Kevin Jurovich
Posted May 16, 2008

CollegeFootballNews.com 2008 Preview - San Jose State Spartan Offense

San Jose State Spartans

Preview 2008 - Offense

- 2008 CFN San Jose State Preview | 2008 SJSU Offense
- 2008 SJSU Defense | 2008 SJSU Depth Chart
- 2007 CFN San Jose State Preview | 2006 CFN San Jose State Preview 

What you need to know:
The offense has been great at holding on to the ball over the last few seasons and was excellent through the air last year, but hurt by losses at running back and injuries on the line, the running game went into the tank. There are several promising, quick backs, led by Dominique Hunsucker, but there has to be far more production after averaging just 2.6 yards per carry. The passing game will be fantastic with a loaded receiving corps, possibly the best in the WAC, led by Kevin Jurovich. The quarterback situation is still up in the air, and while Myles Eden appears to be a capable replacement for Adam Tafralis, Cal transfer Kyle Reed will stay in the hunt when his injured foot heals.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Jordan LaSecla
8-18, 64 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Myles Eden
22 carries, 117 yds, 0 TD
Receiving: Kevin Jurovich
85 catches, 1,183 yds, 9 TD

Star of the offense: Senior WR Kevin Jurovich
Player that has to step up and become a star: Junior RB Dominique Hunsucker
Unsung star on the rise: Junior QB Myles Eden
Best pro prospect: Sophomore OG Ailao Eliapo
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Jurovich, 2) WR David Richmond, 3) C Ronnie Castillo
Strength of the offense: Wide receiver, pass protection
Weakness of the offense:
Running game, quarterback certainty


Projected Starter
For now, 6-1, 182-pound junior Myles Eden has the job. The No. 2 man over the last two seasons, completing seven of 15 passes for 30 yards last year, he took advantage of his opportunities and became the main man. While he's not a big-time passer, he has the best rushing skills of the options with 117 yards, with 64 coming against New Mexico State and offers a different look than the offense has had over the last few years.

Projected Top Reserves: California transfer Kyle Reed was supposed to swoop in and take over the starting job, and while he'll still be in the hunt this fall, the broken foot he suffered this spring was a big setback after missing all of last year with a foot issue. At 6-3 and 215 pounds, he has good size, a live arm, and the skills to get the Spartan passing game rolling, but now he has to fight for playing time.

6-4, 220-pound senior Sean Flynn was the star JUCO transfer of a few years ago, but he got hurt early on and hasn't been a factor since. He saw a little bit of time last year as the main backup completing ten of 17 passes for 56 yards. A better runner than he has shown so far, he has the skills to be in the mix for playing time.

6-3, 198-pound sophomore Jordan LaSecla is a good passer who's likely the odd man out of the hunt going into the fall. He has good upside and should make a charge for the No. 2 job over the next year or so, this should be another year of development.

Watch Out For ... Eden to not just have the job out of spring ball, but keep it to start the season. It's not like Eden isn't good, he just doesn't have the hype or the potential and promise of Reed.
Strength: Options. If one quarterback doesn't work out, the coaching staff will put in another. If he doesn't work out ... you get the idea. There will be four players with the potential and skills to start.
Weakness: Experience. There isn't much. LaSecla, Flynn and Eden have all dabbled, but none of them have been regular starters. The situation should be fine, but the Spartans had a strong passing game last year and the starter needs to be efficient.
Outlook: There are four capable quarterback options to play around with. The hope will be to find the right one, likely either Eden or Reed, and stick with him no matter what. The key will be to get Reed back from a broken foot to give the coaching staff all the choices at their disposal.
Rating: 5.5

Running Backs

Projected Starters
Looking to see an expanded role is senior James Callier, Jr., purely a reserve so far finishing third on the team with 163 yards and three touchdowns while catching eight passes for 87 yards and a touchdown. At 6-2 and 225 pounds, he's a power back who can be used as a fullback while getting around ten carries a game. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry as a sophomore, and then dropped off averaging a mere 2.4 yards per crack last season.

Working as the other main running option will be 5-1, 194-pound junior Dominique Hunsucker. Little used last season, he ran for just 98 yards and caught a pass for three yards. After starting at running back, he moved to defensive back and now has moved back again. He has tremendous speed and the potential to do far more if he can get the ball in the open field.

Projected Top Reserves: Junior Chris Reese and junior Cameron Island will combined to battle for the No. 2 spot behind Hunsucker. The 5-9, 187-pound Island has been on mop-up duty for the last two years running for 46 yards and a touchdown last season, while the 5-9, 205-pound Reese has made most of his mark on special teams and linebacker where he made 10 tackles in 2006 and redshirted last year.

Working behind Callier will be junior Philip Knight, a 6-1, 225-pound thumper who came over from the JUCO ranks last year and now will try to provide a stronger boost for the ground game. Extremely strong, he should be a factor as a short-yardage runner.

On the way is Brandon Rutley, a top recruit who has the speed and and quickness to be an immediate factor. He's a smart, 5-10, 180-pound speedster who'll see time sooner than later.

Watch Out For ... the ground game to miss the big guns. Actually the 5-7, 185-pound Yonus Davis is one of college football's smallest runners, or was, but he's ineligible and won't be back. A second team All-WAC performer in 2005 and 2006, he'd have provided a punch. Patrick Perry is still having issue with a knee injury.
Strength: Quickness. Hunsucker, Reese, Island and Rutley can all move. They're quick little backs who should be able to dance in and out of any hole.
Weakness: Production. The running game was a nightmare last year averaging just 2.6 yards per carry with 1,005 yards and just nine touchdowns. Someone has to step up and become a factor.
Outlook: After a nightmare of a season on the ground finishing 112th in the nation in rushing offense, the Spartans have some potential to change things up if one or two of the players who didn't come through last year end up showing something worthy of getting the ball. the leading running back tore off all of 331 yards last season. The No. 2 back finished with 163. Basically, the ground game production needs to double.
Rating: 4.5


Projected Starters
Out of nowhere, former safety Kevin Jurovich stepped up and became a special receiver catching a team-leading 85 passes for 1,183 yards and nine touchdowns.. He came on like gangbusters late in the year with back-to-back games of 10 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns against New Mexico State and 11 catches for 156 yards against Louisiana Tech. The 6-0, 183-pound senior earned second-team All-WAC honors and should be the main man for the offense to focus around until the backfield situation is settled.

Working as a strong No. 2 option is former star JUCO transfer David Richmond, a big-time get for the team last year who shunned Oregon for the Spartans and came through with a 55-catch, 852-yard, three touchdown season averaging 15.5 yards per catch. At 6-4 and 200 pounds, he has good size and is surprisingly steady. A star basketball player before turning to football, he's still learning on the fly in just his second year as a receiver.

6-4, 220-pound junior Jalal Beauchman finished fourth on the team with 36 catches for 332 yards and a touchdown, but he has the athleticism and upside to do far more. A star high school high jumper, he has the raw skills to be a mismatch as a No. 3 receiver, and now he's due to shine even more before becoming the main man next year.

Senior Jeff Clark was the 2006 starter making eight catches for 65 yards being used more as a solid blocker and occasional target. He missed all of last year hurt and now is back to play a bigger role in the passing game. At 6-5 and 250 pounds, he has the bulk to add more blocking to the mix for a woeful ground game.

Projected Top Reserves: A spot will be found somewhere for top JUCO transfer Marquis Avery, a 6-4, 195-pound producer who made 60 catches for 766 yards and seven touchdowns for Fullerton College. A basketball player, although not as good as Richmond was, Avery is a great athlete who'll be thrown into the rotation right away. He's also a fantastic blocker.

Not to be lost in the shuffle is 5-9, 165-pound redshirt freshman Michael Avila, one of the stars of spring ball. The little speedster is a great route runner with gamebreaking ability once he gets the ball on the move. He'll work behind Jurovich to start.

5-11, 170-pound redshirt freshman Josh Harrison is one of the team's fastest players. The former California high school track star was a tremendous sprinter and long jumper, and now he'll try to bring his athleticism and upside to the outside to become a deep threat in a rotation with Richmond.

If Clark isn't quite 100% healthy, 6-2, 230-pound senior Brian Elledge will handle the tight end duties. The starter last year, the former linebacker made 16 catches for 105 yards and a score. While he's a tough blocker, he's not as good as Clark but could see more time as a receiver.

Watch Out For ... more deep plays. The fast corps was getting its feet wet last year, but it still averaged a solid 11.5 yards per catch. However, there weren't too many home runs. Now with so much experience and so much athleticism, the bigger plays should come.
Strength: Experience. There wasn't any last year, and now the top three wide receivers are back along with two tight ends with starting experience and a good JUCO transfer in Avery. There should be fewer mistakes and even more production.
Weakness: Reputation. Able to sneak up on everyone last year after losing 141 of the team's 181 catches from the previous year, now this will be expected to be among the best receiving corps in the WAC. The expectations will be jacked up, and rightly so.
Outlook: Supposed to be one of the team's biggest weaknesses going into last year, it became one of the bigger strengths. Jurovich is an All-WAC star, while Richmond, Beauchman, Harrison and Avila should be excellent in a supporting role. If the coaching staff wants to get the tight ends more involved in the passing game, that won't be a problem.
Rating: 7

Offensive Linemen

Projected Starters
The banged up, beaten up line was great in pass protection but lousy for the running game. Three starters return led by sophomore Fred Koloto at left tackle. Part guard, part tackle, the 6-3, 290-pounder stepped in as a true freshman and played where needed. A good talent with excellent athleticism, he should be the team's key in pass protection.

Also back on the left side is 6-4, 295-pound sophomore Isaac Leatiota, a serviceable all-around blocker who struggled in the running game early on as a true freshman, but has the skills to grow into a rock for the next three years. The Cal transfer who was originally considered a defensive lineman, he ended up starting ten games.

The biggest question mark is at center, but it could also be the best situation on the line. 6-0, 292-pound junior Ronnie Castillo is versatile enough to play anywhere on the line, but he settled in and started most of the year at center with Justin Paysinger out hurt. While he's not all that tall, Castillo is a tough block to move around and is great in pass protection.

Adding more size to the mix is 6-2, 320-pound sophomore Ailao Eliapo, a big prospect at right guard who started out on the defensive side making six tackles in nine games. With the running game needing a more physical presence, Eliapo should provide it.

Stepping in at right tackle will be 6-4, 280-pound junior Jon Moreno, a spot starter at left tackle last season getting the call early against Stanford and Utah State. He went the JUCO route but didn't play at Cerritos College. He'll have to push to keep a starting job, and will likely be part of a rotation.

Projected Top Reserves: Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that former star center Justin Paysinger will be able to get back on the field after having too many problems with his back. A great athlete who was supposed to be the anchor of the line, he missed all of last year and underwent surgery.

Working in a rotation with Moreno at right tackle is 6-6, 355-pound senior Bradis McGriff, a starter in eight games over the past two years and a productive pass protector. At his size he needs to do more for the running game, but he has the experience to step in whenever needed.

The new star of the show could be JUCO transfer Steve Lightsy, a 6-4, 350-pound All-American who was one of the team's top recruits. He'll start out on the right side behind Eliapo, but he has all the makings of being a big-time producer for the running game. He's great at finishing his blocks.

6-5, 310-pound junior Joe Zusin is a big reserve who started at tackle against UC Davis but is better suited for the inside. He has good size and strength, and now he'll mostly work behind Leatiota at left guard.

Watch Out For ... Lightsy. He might be a backup coming out of spring ball, but he has the size and talent to grow into a fixture for the running game. The line needs a 350-pound mauler to open up some holes.
Strength: Size. This isn't the massive line last year's group was, but it's still huge with Eliapo, McGriff and Lightsy bringing bulk mass to the group. Even with all this size, there's good all-around athleticism. Now there needs to be more production for the ...
Weakness: Running game. Partly because of injury and inconsistency up front, the line didn't do much of anything for a running game that ranked among the worst in America. There's too much bulk to not do more.
Outlook: Fantastic two years ago, the line never found its groove with several lineup shifts and changes from week to week. There might not be much in the way of consistency again this year with several good backups ready to step in and produce. The pass protection has been fantastic for the last two years, but now there has to be more for the ground game. There will be. This should be an improved wall if everyone can stay healthy.


Related Stories
2008 CFN San Jose State Preview
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  May 16, 2008
2008 San Jose State Preview - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  May 16, 2008
2008 San Jose State Preview – Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  May 16, 2008

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