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2010 San Jose State Preview – Offense
San Jose State RB Lamon Muldrow
San Jose State RB Lamon Muldrow
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 10, 2010


CollegeFootballNews.com 2010 Preview - San Jose State Spartan Offense



San Jose State Spartans

Preview 2010 - Offense

- 2010 San Jose State Preview | 2010 San Jose State Offense
- 2010 San Jose State Defense | 2010 San Jose State Depth Chart
- San Jose State Previews  2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

What You Need To Know: The new coaching staff will change things up for an offense that finished 115th in the nation and was painfully inept throughout the year. Nine starters are back from an attack that will go from the spread to a conventional style with more of an emphasis on the running game and with more use of the tight ends. That should mean a big year for Ryan Otten, a talented sophomore who should become a go-to target, and it should also mean more production from a big, veteran offensive front that should be far better for the ground game if all the key parts can stay healthy. The receiving corps could be the best in the WAC if Marquis Avery, Josh Harrison, and Jalal Beauchman can play up to their athleticism, and the backfield tandem of Lamon Muldrow and Brandon Rutley can fly. The big question mark is at quarterback where it’s a three-way race that is likely to go on throughout the year.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Jordan La Secla
182-304, 1,926 yds, 10 TD, 11 INT
Rushing: Lamon Muldrow
131 carries, 592 yds, 3 TD
Receiving: Marquis Avery
42 catches, 465 yds, 6 TD

Star of the offense: Senior WR Marques Avery
Player who has to step up and be a star: Junior OT Andres Vargas
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore TE Ryan Otten
Best pro prospect: Avery
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Avery, 2) RB Lamon Muldrow, 3) WR Josh Harrison
Strength of the offense: Experience, Speed and Athleticism
Weakness of the offense: Pass Protection, Running Game

Quarterbacks

Projected Starter: Senior Jordan La Secla started out his career as an emergency backup and wasn’t expected to be a major factor last year, but he ended up taking over the job early on and wasn’t awful completing 60% of his throws for 1,926 yards and the touchdowns, but he threw 11 interceptions. He only threw two touchdown passes over the final five games and missed time after struggled to get the offense going, and now he’ll likely be the main man based on his experience. At 6-3 and 198 pounds he has good size and a live arm, but he’s not going to run much.

Projected Top Reserves: Junior Matt Faulkner will get every shot to run the offense. The 6-3, 215-pound JUCO transfer threw for 3,307 yards and 29 touchdowns for Mt. San Antonio College after transferring from Fresno State. A scout teamer for the Bulldogs, he has a little bit of good practice time, but now he’ll get his shot to bomb away with the skills to push the ball deep.

Redshirt freshman Dasmen Stewart is an interesting dual-threat prospect with great running skills and just enough of a passing arm to be used in a variety of ways. A great spread option, he has the ability to carry the running game at times and throws well on the move. He’s not going to be much of a passer right away, but he might be too dangerous to keep off the field.

Watch Out For … Faulkner. La Secla is the safe choice as the returning starter, but he doesn’t have much in the way of mobility and he doesn’t have much in the way of upside. In a rebuilding mode, Faulkner could be the choice to work with for the next few years.
Strength: Three decent choices. La Secla is the veteran passer who’s comfortable with the players around him, Faulkner is a dangerous passer who could get hot and keep the team in games, and Stewart is the wild-card with excellent running skills.
Weakness: Production. SJSU was among the least efficient passing teams in the country last year finishing with just 13 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions, and now it’ll have to go on without Kevin Jurovich, one of the team’s most dangerous receivers.
Outlook: The coaching staff isn’t going to name a starting quarterback until the last possible second, and even then the choice might not be set in stone. For a team that needs time and needs to take its lumps for a while, Stewart might be the best choice, but La Secla will see time in one way or another and Faulkner came to SJSU to play right away.
Unit Rating: 5

Running Backs

Projected Starters: Senior Lamon Muldrow stepped in as a JUCO transfer and turned into the team’s leading rusher, helped mostly from one monster performance. The 5-9, 210-pounder finished the year with 592 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards per carry, but 184 of his yards came against Cal Poly in one of the team’s two wins. Extremely quick with the potential to be a workhorse, he ran for 3,260 yards and 44 touchdowns in two years in Sierra College, and he can catch a bit, too, making 19 grabs for 133 yards last season with the Spartans.

The Spartan offense isn’t likely to use a fulltime fullback, but sophomore Wade O’Neill will step in when needed. The 6-1, 225-pounder started out his career as a linebacker but has mostly seen time as a special teamer. He’s a tough option with enough toughness to potentially run from time to time.

Projected Top Reserves: Senior Brandon Rutley was a top recruit for the program with tremendous speed and cut-on-a-dime quickness, and he became a top kick returner and ran for 356 yards in 2008. At 5-11 and 180 pounds, he’s not built like a pounding back, and he’s not, being used as a wide receiver at times catching 11 passes for 84 yards last year, with eight of those grabs coming against Idaho, and he ran for 59 yards and two scores. He’ll be used in a variety of ways again as both a receiver and a running back, but he’ll get more work as a runner this year.

6-1, 225-pound sophomore Ina Liaina came to San Jose State as a linebacker and now will be used as a fullback as a blocker. Very aggressive with a good motor, he should grow into a big hitter for the ground game and has the power to get the ball from time to time.

Watch Out For … a steady rotation of Muldrow and Rutley. Being the starter isn’t going to matter much for the Spartan offense with the coaching staff using everyone to generate more of a ground game.
Strength: Quickness. Muldrow can move and should be great if he gets a little room to move, while Rutley is a wide receiver playing running back. Both have home run hitting ability.
Weakness: Production. The O line didn’t help the cause, but the backs didn’t do much, either. The Spartans gained just 920 yards with 242 coming against Cal Poly.
Outlook: The running game was a disaster last season, and the first job of the coaching staff is to change that. Muldrow and Rutley will produce with better blocking up front and more of a commitment to the ground game, but after finishing 117th in the nation on the ground, running for more than 100 yards just four times and scoring eight times, there’s a long way to go.
Unit Rating: 5

Receivers

Projected Starters: It’ll be up to Marquis Avery to take over as the No. 1 receiver, and he has the upside to become a special player if the quarterback play is solid. The 6-4, 205-pound senior is a former basketball player who can jump out of the stadium, and he has decent experience catching 60 passes for 766 yards and seven touchdowns for Fullerton College before making 42 grabs for 465 yards and six scores last year for the Spartans. While he was banged up over the second half of the year, he finished strong with seven catches for 147 yards and two scores in the season finale against Louisiana Tech.

Junior Josh Harrison is a talent who’s being used in a variety of ways to get his tremendous speed on the field. He finished third on the team in rushing with 61 yards on six carries, and he was tied for this in receiving with 35 catches for 296 yards and two scores. The former California high school track star, who was a top sprinter and long jumper, is 5-11 and 183 pounds with next-level wheels, and now he’ll get more chances on the outside.

The tight end was an afterthought in the old offense, but he’ll be a big part of the passing game now meaning sophomore Ryan Otten will be a featured playmaker. The 6-5, 230-pounder has talent and he has the look and the size, and now he needs the ball after catching ten passes for 78 yards in his first year. He’s polished, has nice route running ability, and he’ll be used like a big wide receiver.

Projected Top Reserves: Senior Jalal Beauchman will be a starter in three-wide sets and could end up pushing Josh Harrison for a job. He finished third on the team with 35 catches for 378 yards and four scores and has the potential to be deadly with more work thrown his way. At 6-4 and 220 pounds and with track star high jumping ability, he’s a matchup nightmare but he has to start playing like it. He needs to become more of a complete receiver, but he has the tools to be special.

In an interesting move, senior Devin Newsome will move from safety to receiver after making 35 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss last year. The 5-10, 185-pounder is a smart speedster who did a little bit of everything for the secondary over the past few years, and he should be dangerous with the ball in his hands.

On a team full of deep speed threats, 6-2, 190-pound sophomore James Orth is a short-to-midrange target who doesn’t have much speed but will fight for the ball and won’t be afraid to make the tough catch in traffic. He’s quick enough to get open and he could grow into a reliable possession receiver.

Sophomores Ray Rodriguez and Keenan Brown will combine to back up Ryan Otten at tight end and should find their niches early on. The 6-1, 270-pound Rodriguez will be used more like a blocker, while the 6-4, 245-pound Brown is a dangerous receiver with excellent upside.

Watch Out For … Otten. The tight end is going to be a featured part of the passing game and Otten should blossom. Consider it a shocker if he’s not one of the team’s top receivers and doesn’t end up making around 35 catches.
Strength: Deep speed. On pure athleticism, no team in the WAC has the receivers the Spartans do. Harrison can fly, Beauchman is a leaper, and Avery is a pure athlete with tremendous size. The corps looks like it’s from central casting.
Weakness: Consistent production. There were too many lapses and too many disappearing acts over the course of last year. Part of the problem was that the strength of the receivers, the deep speed, wasn’t able to be used enough because the quarterbacks were under so much pressure. If the blocking up front is better and the QBs get an extra half-second, the receivers could blow up.
Outlook: The loss of top target Kevin Jurovich isn’t going to be a stinger as long as Harrison, Avery, and Beauchman play up to their potential. With the expected emergence of Otten, the passing game has the weapons to do far more. Now the quarterback play has to be better and everyone has to be more consistent.
Unit Rating: 6.5

Offensive Line

Projected Starters: The play of the line has to be far better in pass protection, and that means junior Fred Koloto has to be better. He has had issues over the years with his back, but he has still managed to be one of the team’s key blockers used both as a guard and tackle. Working at left tackle, the 6-3, 290-pound veteran has good potential to be far better and he needs to be an anchor for the passing game.

Back for another year at left guard is Isaac Leatiota, a 6-4, 305-pound mauler with 31 starts under his belt over the last three seasons. The former Cal Bear is a serviceable all-around blocker is strong, has a defensive lineman’s mentality, and has good raw talent, but he has to do more for the ground game.

Senior Robbie Reed came into last year considered a good backup option, and he ended up taking over the starting center job. At 6-3 and 290 pounds, he’s a big blocker who can play guard when needed and is smart enough to make all the line calls without a problem. A strong mauler who should be better for the ground game, he has the potential to grow into a more productive player in the new offense.

At 6-3 and 320 pounds, senior Ailao Eliapo is a huge blocker who should do more for the running game, but he has to grow into a steady starter at right guard. A former defensive lineman, he has seen time on the offensive side and has the athleticism to have been used from time to time as a blocker out of the backfield. He needs to be 100% health and he needs to use his size to be more of a physical presence.

6-4, 305-pound junior Andres Vargas didn’t end up grabbing the starting job, but he has been a key part of the blocking rotation seeing time in every game and is now expected to become a decent all-around player at right tackle. The former California state-championship level wrestler can beat up defenders, but he has to show the lateral movement to match up better against speed rushers.

Projected Top Reserves: Sophomore David Quessenberry isn’t the biggest blocker, but the 6-5, 275-pounder saw time in every game last year and has the frame and the potential to be a solid pass blocker on the left side. He has the room to add more weight without losing any athleticism, and he’s quick enough to be a good option in the rotation with Fred Koloto.

6-4, 275-pound Amar Pal was a high school defensive lineman with the athleticism to grow into a bigger role at right tackle. While he’s not as big as Andres Vargas, he’s good on the move with the strength to be a decent all-around blocker with a little bit more time.

Watch Out For … the group to be able to line up and hit someone in the mouth. With the spread offense being shelved for a more conventional attack, the big linemen will be able to fire out and beat up defensive linemen. They’ll be happy to do it.
Strength: Size and experience. This is a nice-sized group of 300 pounders with three long-time starters to count on. If the job is to get more physical, the Spartan line should be able to do it from time to time.
Weakness: Production. Injuries were a problem for the line two seasons ago, but last year the front five was simply bad. SJSU finished 104th in the nation in sacks allowed, giving up 34, and it did nothing for the running game.
Outlook: The potential is there for a big improvement with the job being simplified. See defensive lineman, hit defensive lineman. This front five should be able to do that. There’s good experience among the starting five, but the backups need more work and the depth needs to be developed with three senior starters gone in 2011.
Unit Rating: 4.5

- 2010 San Jose State Preview | 2010 San Jose State Offense
- 2010 San Jose State Defense | 2010 San Jose State Depth Chart
- San Jose State Previews  2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006