San Jose State's Verbal Football Recruits for 2015
This is Bozar with another installment from creeper86. Spartan fans love his input and he's the best when it comes to writing about football at San Jose State. The past few years have been poor on the field but have very good on the recruiting trail as you'll see below. Now, all we need are these high quality seeds to sprout and bear fruit.
Threads about recruiting at this point are premature because we are just talking verbals and guys like Seth Collins (flip to Oregon State) and Evan Tyler (flip to BSU) confirm that. But, recruiting is also a lot of fun. The fans see the HS highlight tape and convince themselves that their team is getting better and they're all, of course, signing difference makers. I'm sure all 125 (or so) FBS teams and fans feel this way.
So, how is SJSU doing? I know, I know, I said it's premature to talk about it, but so what, it's a message board and there ain't no football games to discuss or SJS games to reminisce about in the 2014 season.
The recruiting sites have SJS at #1 or #2 in the MWC (pay most attention to 24/7 who do the most work) which is pretty darn good I'd say, especially coming off a 3-9 club with little, on the surface, to sell. But, we do have Coach Donte' Williams, and we have proof to share with prospective recruits that they can come in and play immediately. Kids like to hear that. Some, of course, will likely flip in the next three + weeks, but that'll just be further confirmation that there's talent in this list, and likely we'll hear of new verbals here over this last stretch. It's safe to say that SJSU is going to end up in the top 4,on avg, across all sites. This will be the second straight year of top half recruiting in the MWC and, really, the best two year stretch on paper in SJSU history or, at least since the advent of these recruiting sites. Impressive, no doubt, but now we need to coach them up and start winning games to truly validate these classes.
Most important when speaking of recruiting talent, outside of watching them develop years later and rating the classes then, are the "other offers" your recruits have received. A two star with several FBS offers, or a three star with no other offers? Every day of the week, you want the two star with 'other options' who ends up choosing you. Those that get paid to evaluate talent, the FBS recruiters, have the most knowledge as to who can play, so you want kids with 'other offers' to sign up with you as the 'experts' agree they are scholarship worthy. So, here is what we have today and what their options are/were; I'll start with the top 5 recruits (projections over time) to this point, all my subjective opinion of course:
1. CB/WR - Dakari Monroe (Archbishop Mitty HS, San Jose) - Arizona, Fresno State, Washington St.,Nevada. Impressive offers. Anytime you grab a local kid who can go Pac12, well, that may be your #1 pickup. This is a big one, and Dakari has potential to make an immediate impact in certain packages like Maurice McKnight did last year. Elite speed and ball skills; my #1 due to him being an elite athlete with 'bigger options' choosing to stay home. This is the type of potential signee who can change the recruiting game to a degree for SJSU and hometown recruiting.
2. OL - Dominic Fredrickson (Freedom HS, Oakley, CA) - UCLA, CAL, ASU, Boise, WSU, HI, ID, NV. Even a more impressive list of options. Also, semi-local (east bay). For SJSU, a position of need. May be one of those rare linemen out of HS who is ready to go. Guys like Monroe, skill position guys, are more often immediately ready to contribute because speed kills and is natural to a degree, and ball skills/coverage skills are instinctive, whereas a lineman more often than not needs time to build, and get quicker and stronger. But, DF looks ready to go and could take over/compete for a C/OG job very quickly.
3. QB - Kenny Potter (Long Beach CC, Long Beach, CA) - SDSU, UNLV, ID. A tad short; questionable arm strength, JC player with just two to play. Those are reasons why he was somewhat overlooked. But, a winner at the HS and JC level. Turned a subpar LBCC team into a top 10 JC power. Great athlete with much speed and the ability to run the read option. His presence alone in the backfield could open up the run game and help the OL tremendously. He's the one everybody will pay most attention to, all of us here, because he's, well, the QB. He undoubtedly is in the position to make the biggest impact immediately and I think he'll be the 2015 starter. This based on film and his HS and JC coaches calling him the "best" they've had over the years and a great leader. He's your #1 if he performs like we all hope he can starting this year.
4. OLB - Corey Adolphus (Serra HS, Gardena, CA) - CSU, WSU, FSU, SDSU. Has potential to stand up or hit the three pt (DE/ hybrid type). Another one from Serra where SJSU has had a lot of success and good established recruiting connections. Nice to beat out conference mates for a guy like this, where we have struggled some, and to again beat out WSU (lower level Pac12) who we seem to be competing and winning some against. RS year likely for Adolphus, but good future.
5. RB - Malik Roberson (Serra HS, Gardena, CA) - ASU, Boston College, CSU, Oregon St, SDSU, UCLA. If this were 2013, or prior to his devastating knee injury, we'd have to move this kid up. He was dynamic as a sophomore, but sat out all of his JR year to rehabilitate a blown knee. A bit tentative as a senior, and split time in the backfield, but seemed to get stronger and, maybe most of all, trust the leg and not "think too much" (often the most difficult thing is dealing with the mental part following a knee injury-"will it happen again?"). A good flyer for SJS with tremendous upside; could give us a Deonce Whitaker type of career when we see him in a few years. Short, but stout with power so can hide behind a large line.
Best of the rest:
DE - Lukas Hendricks (Folsom HS, Folsom, CA) - AF, NM, (several FCS). Sleeper here; good frame to grow. Looked very impressive in championship game in Dec. Hope he's solid and sold on SJS because I think others will come calling as Feb approaches.
LB - Frank Ginda (Pacheco HS, Los Banos, CA) - AF. Early enrollee (intelligent kid with grades) and may end up starting this year. Very likely a non RS year who can play sp teams/two deep at the very least. Looks physically ready and sounds mentally ready and determined. Under the radar kid who has been sold for a while on SJS. Team captain type in a few years.
WR - Colin Baker (Vista Murrieta HS, Murrieta, CA) - SDSU, Troy, Wyo, Akron (several FCS). Skill player may be ready to go if more veteran players don't step up. Excellent hands and route runner.
DT - Deshawn Fortune (Etiwanda HS, Etiwanda, CA) - (FCS only) - This is your biggest sleeper and overlooked kid. Highest rated recruit on your most reputable recruiting site. Has body to play inside with some weight room work. Looks quick for his size and may have sniffers late in the process because he's been totally overlooked to this point but not without talent.
TE/OLB - Josh Oliver (Paso Robles HS, Paso Robles, CA) - AF (FCS) - Under recruited, but with good quickness and height and a very good athlete. Gonna take a few years, but a lot of potential here. Smart kid; good in the classroom.
QB - Cameron Burston (Stellar Prep HS, Hayward, CA) - (none) - Overlooked because of league he plays in. Only 17 players on his team, but he does have talent on his team including a BCS WR (which helps a QB to look good and chuck it up there). Very, very raw, but does have tools. Find him a coach and he can be somebody in a few years. Was supposed to be an early enrollee so not sure what is happening with him; we'll see if he signs in a few weeks. Definite project however.
Rest with offers:
DT Loni Fa (JC) (Mt. San Antonio HS, Walnut, CA) - Iowa St
TE Evan Faunce (JC) (Glendale HS, Glendale, AZ) - UTSA, UAB (well, wouldn't have been a good choice for him), NMSU (FCS)
WR-Bailey Gaither (Paso Robles HS, Paso Robles, CA) - Wyoming, Troy (and FCS)
CB - Bomani Bassette (McClymonds HS, Oakland, CA)- NV (and FCS)
CB - Trevon Bierria (Nathaniel Narbonne HS, Harbor City, CA) - NV, UTEP (and FCS)
S - Kyron Basped (Sacramento HS, Sacramento, CA) - Colorado, SDSU, CSU (and FCS)
CB - Dehlon Preston (Central HS East Campus, Fresno, CA) - Houston
C - Kyle Hoppe (Chaparral HS, Temecula, CA)- NMSU
WR - Ray Surry (FCS) (Rancho Cucamonga HS, Rancho Cucamonga, CA)
RB - Zamore Zigler (Carter HS, Rialto, CA)
DE - Terrell Townsend (South San Francisco HS, South San Francisco, CA)
K - Bryce Crawford (Heritage HS, Frisco, TX)
LB - Amir Crear (Redondo Union HS, Redondo Beach, CA)
DE - Bryson Bridges (Chaparral HS, Temecula, CA)
OLB - Malik Hayes (Grossmont Middle College HS, El Cajon, CA)
So, plenty of talent looks to be coming aboard as it did last year. Never have we seen "several" recruits with Pac12 offers come our way instead. And the vast majority have options. Talent's coming, but they must be coached. I do think this however, if you have the talent (and the coaches are bringing it in) an average coach can win. Are RC and staff at least average? We'll find out and we must very soon.