San Jose State
Preview 2008 - Offense
2008 CFN San Jose
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2006 CFN San Jose
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.