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2018 Recruiting Breakdown: San Jose State

Spartans turned a great January into a great recruiting class.

NCAA Football: Wyoming at San Jose State D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

This was the first full recruiting class under Brent Brennan. And it should be considered a major success. Recruiting can sometimes take a few years to build up when a new coaching staff starts, but they were able to capitalize on the hype and really sell the opportunity to be part of something new to the incoming players. If this is the floor in recruiting for this era of the Spartans, it will be very interesting to see what the ceiling could be in the next few years.

The Skinny:

  • 25 recruits signed
  • 10 offensive, 15 defense
  • 11 players in this class were listed at 3-stars by either Rivals or 247.
  • Breakdown by state: 25 from California

RB Lorenzo Burkes

  • highlights
  • Burkes is a big, bruising back who is a power runner. He’s at his best between the tackles where he can bounce off tackles with ease. Also, he is agile enough to cut and put distance between himself and defenders once he reaches top speed. Burkes also displays an ability to catch passes out of the backfield, which will give him another dimension to make an impact.

RB Kairee Robinson

  • highlights
  • Robinson and Burkes will compliment each other well, as Kairee is a smaller, speedier type of back. He’s at his best with lots of space to run and make defenders miss. This means he’s effective running off tackle or bouncing to the outside where he can juke or simply outrun defenders. Robinson can get to the second level quickly when running between the tackles and with enough of a hole, he can turn it into a big play.

WR Jermaine Braddock

  • highlights
  • A signing day surprise, Braddock will be a major impact to the Spartans for the future. He possesses great break-away speed, which gives him an advantage over defenders both on short routes where he can make a cut and run, as well as allowing him to be a deep threat in the offense. Braddock also has great hands and really nice footwork and body control along the sidelines.

WR Leki Nunn

  • highlights
  • Nunn is quite the athlete, who is a gray shirt from the 2017 class and will be enrolling for spring semester. Playing as a dual-threat QB in high school, he is expected to shift to wide receiver once in college. His skills of shifty running and strong lower body will translate well to the position. The added year and benefit of spring ball will give an a leg up in competing for a spot come spring.

WR Isaiah Hamilton

  • highlights
  • Another player who announced his decision on signing day (he and Jermaine are hs teammates) and another player who could be making a position change. His hudl lists him as a running back, but San Jose State announced him as a wide receiver. Expect him to be a mix of both, where his skill set can really shine. Hamilton is electric with the ball in his hands, making great use of his speed and displaying multiple moves to make players miss. He should do a lot of damage on jet sweeps, short screens and potentially as a returner.

OL Tyler Ostrum

  • highlights
  • Ostrum is a mammoth force on the offensive line and will continue to be in college. Playing mostly right tackle, he continues to execute his blocking assignment until the whistle blows. Ostrum does a surprisingly good job moving laterally and backwards for someone his size and is able to handle defenders without the need of another lineman to help him.

OL Anthony Pardue

  • highlights
  • Pardue has great size and will help to provide stability to the interior of the Spartan line for multiple years. He’s at his best in run-blocking, and can pull on runs with no problems. He’s athletic enough to get up the field a bit to make blocks against the second level. Pardue does pretty well in pass-blocking too, holding his own and not being pushed back by defenders along the line.

OL Max Barth

  • highlights
  • One of the most impressive signings in this class, Barth held a number of PAC12 offers at one time and the Spartans were able to land him. He’s a tough physical lineman who can play multiple spots. He’s very athletic and mobile, able to pull and run up in front of runners on plays in order to make blocks. Barth has an impressive combination of strength and speed for an offensive line player.

OL Jaime Navarro

  • highlights
  • Navarro is a player who has a chance to be very good down the line for the Spartans. He is an extremely hard worker who has had to prove himself every step of the way. He’s the type of player who isn’t going to make many mistakes as he executes his blocks well. Navarro lays hard hits on defenders and is great at opening holes for runners behind him. It’s worth pointing out that they run a number of plays behind his blocks.

JUCO OL Korey Mariboho

  • highlights
  • Mariboho is coming in to bring experience and game-readiness to the Spartan O-line. He can play a few different spots on the line and should be a great model to the younger guys coming in as to how an OL player plays. He has great footwork in pass protection and reads what the defender is trying to do pretty well. Mariboho should carve out a big role for himself during his Spartan career.

DL E.J. Ane

  • highlights
  • Even though Ane waited until after signing day to commit, he is in no way less talented than anyone else. He looks like a natural pass-rusher, able to get into the backfield with ease thanks to a smooth swim move. Other times he simply over powers blockers with strength, pushing them back and not allowing runners to get past the line of scrimmage. Ane is also athletic enough to play linebacker, but should find a home at DE.

DL Dimitri Sakalia

  • highlights
  • Sakalia could have one of the highest ceilings in this class, and looks like another quality pass-rusher in this class. He’s long and rangy, able to get the quarterback using speed against bigger blockers. While he will need to add some muscle to keep from getting pushed around, Sakalia will need to make sure he doesn’t loose any quickness, which is his best trait.

DL Cade Hall

  • highlights
  • Hall is a big force in the middle of the defensive line. However, he’s also quick and athletic enough to play on the outside of the line. This will give him a big advantage at defensive tackle, where he can either overpower defenders with his size or else run past them, creating the opportunity for an interior pass rush.

DL Demanual Talauati

  • highlights
  • Talauati is yet another defensive linemen with lots of talent and upside. Stop if this sounds familiar, but he can play either interior or on the outside and moves very well for someone his size. Talauati has a knack for getting after the quarterback, seemingly with ease. He will be an nightmare with his future offensive linemen opponents.

LB Michael Pryor

  • highlights
  • Pryor is a really nice athlete at the linebacker position. He can blitz, drop back into coverage at times, and step up to stop the run. He could step into the will linebacker of the future role and the future may be sooner than expected. A player of Pryor’s caliber at linebacker will go a long way to shoring up the defense from last year.

LB Isaak Togia

  • highlights
  • Togia is another highly talented player in this class who had some PAC12 offers before committing to the Spartans a few weeks before signing day. Athletic enough to play running back in high school, which highlighted his speed and power. Those attributes will carry over well as a middle linebacker who can shut down the run with no issues. He displays great instincts and won’t miss many tackles. He could see the field as soon as next season.

LB Junior Fehoko

  • highlights
  • Fehoko is a versatile linebacker who may be able to help the Spartans add a few wrinkles to their defense. He can lineup in a normal linebacker spot on the outside or on the line as an extra player to soak up a blocker. He moves very well, as showcased by his time on offensive as a receiving tight end. Fehoko gets off blocks with relative ease and has nice form as a tackler.

LB Kyle Harmon

  • highlights
  • Harmon is yet another talented linebacker coming into this class. He’s listed as a middle linebacker, but is incredibly quick and changes direction well from his time at running back. Because of this, he may be able to play more of a sam linebacker role that is becoming increasingly valuable in college defenses. He covers well, plays fast and makes plays on defense.

CB Charlie Bostic

  • highlights
  • Bostic is a very nice cover corner coming into the Spartan’s ranks. He has tremendous speed, with long strides that gives him the ability to fly all over the field. Bostic shows numerous times that he doesn’t give up on plays and can come from the other side of the field to make a tackle.

CB LJ Anderson

  • highlights
  • Anderson is an incredible athlete and utilizing him as a cornerback will bode well for the future Spartan defense. He appears to be a natural ballhawk, and once he gets the ball in his hands he becomes a big threat to take it to the house. Anderson can play in either man or zone coverage and looks great in press man coverage.

JUCO CB Jalen Nelson

  • highlights
  • Nelson gives the San Jose State secondary a cornerback who can come in and play right away due to his JUCO experience. He’s a nice two-way athlete who will settle into corner nicely. He high-points the ball well in the air and can put his play-making skills to good use if they decide to moonlight him on offense or else use him on special teams.

JUCO CB Nehemiah Shelton

  • highlights
  • Another cornerback from the JUCO level who should be able to come in and compete for a spot immediately. He’s a physical corner who plays tough, hard defense against wide receivers. He is athletic enough to match them stride for stride and is also able to win a number of jump balls, allowing him to get numerous pass breakups. Shelton plays very well in man coverage and should be able to slow down opponents passing attacks.

JUCO DB Bobby Brown II

  • highlights
  • Brown is a physical defensive back who runs and hits hard. He tackles well on the run and wraps up very well, rarely letting defenders get away. Brown should be able to make an immediate impact in both the defensive secondary as well as many special teams units, making him very valuable to next year’s team.

S Tre Jenkins

  • highlights
  • Jenkins is an athletic safety who understands coverage assignments well. He reads the QB well and uses his speed to jump passes, even when he’s a few steps away. Jenkins does a great job keeping the play in front of him and consistently makes a play on the ball.

ATH Nick Nash

  • highlights
  • Nash’s profile lists him as a QB, WR, and CB, but the Spartans announced him as an athlete. The majority of his film shows him as a QB, where he is a strong thrower who does most of his damage on the run. He is just as accurate on the run as he is in the pocket. When he tucks the ball and takes off, Nash is hard to bring down. He finds open running lanes is too sturdy to arm tackle.

Headliner(s): Barth, Togia

Talented enough to play right away: Togia, Braddock, Hamilton, Barth, Burkes

Sleeper Recruit(s): Jenkins, Navarro

Best unit: Offensive Line. They are set up great for the future.

Summary:

The Spartans checked off quite a few boxes in this class. While they didn't bring in a quarterback, they basically brought in everyone else. It’s easy to see most of this class becoming the core of the Brennan era moving forward. There are a number of players who can and should play right away, in order to start building for the future. The coaching staff did a great job bringing in a middle of the conference class in their first year, with some of the signees having PAC12 offers at one time. Perhaps the most the interesting aspect of the class is that every single recruit is from the home state of California, showing a commitment to local talent.

Previous: Hawaii, Nevada, San Diego State, Colorado State, Boise State

Up tomorrow: Fresno State

Vic Aquino contributed to this article.