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Projecting the 2019 San Jose State Depth Chart

It’s a big year for coach Brennan and the Spartans. Who will be out on the field?

NCAA Football: Portland State at San Jose State Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

It’s year three of the Brent Brennan experiment in the Bay Area, and it’ll be an interesting season for San Jose State. Coming off of a 1-11 campaign, it can’t get much worse for the Spartans in 2019. With the loss of important pieces like Boogie Roberts and Josh Oliver, there will be lots of new faces in San Jose next season. Here is my projected depth chart for SJSU after wrapping up spring ball.

Offense

Quarterback

  1. Josh Love
  2. Chance LaChapelle
  3. Nick Nash
  4. Alec Trujillo (RS)

Heading into his senior year, it’s Josh Love’s team. Love left no doubts in the mind of Spartan fans after his stellar play last season. The more interesting battle is over who gets to back him up. Love wasn’t the most durable QB a year ago, and as we all saw, SJSU didn’t have a lot of depth behind him. Chance LaChapelle looked solid in spring, so pencil him in as the no. 2, but don’t count out the two freshmen.

Running back

  1. Tyler Nevens
  2. Dejon Packer
  3. Darrin Smith
  4. Brandon Manigo
  5. Adi Anderson

Running back will easily be the most stacked position for SJSU’s offense in 2019. Tyler Nevens is due for a big season after a strong showing last year, despite missing time with injuries. Behind him, it’s kind of a crap shoot. There’s a ton of youth in this running back corps, and any of the guys listed could get significant playing time.

Wide Receiver

  1. Bailey Gaithers (When he’s fully recovered from his achilles injury)
  2. JaQuan Blackwell

Wide Receiver

  1. Tre Walker
  2. Austin Liles

Wide Receiver

  1. Leki Nunn
  2. Antwaun Ayers

The receivers for SJSU are young but are brimming with potential. Bailey Gaithers was off to an electric start in 2018 before suffering an absolutely brutal achilles tear against Hawaii. A full recovery to an injury that severe isn’t guaranteed, but if he’s healthy, he can be one of the top deep-threats in the conference.

Tight End

  1. Derrick Deese Jr.
  2. Dominick Mazotti
  3. Billy Humphries

Josh Oliver was the best player for San Jose State in 2018. That isn’t up for debate. Now that he’s left to the NFL, there is a gaping hole at the tight end spot. This is one of the positions that will see the biggest competition in fall camp. I’m going to project that Derrick Deese will get the starting spot. He has the best size and experience of the group. But don’t sleep on Dominick Mazotti. He was used mostly at QB in high school, but his athleticism and football IQ should make for a solid transition into the tight end spot at the Division I level.

Offensive Line

Left Tackle

  1. Scott Breslin
  2. Troy Kowalski

Left Guard

  1. Troy Kowalski
  2. Tyler Ostrom

Center

  1. Kyle Hoppe
  2. Trevor Robbins

Right Guard

  1. Jack Snyder
  2. Jamie Navarro

Right Tackle

  1. Quinn Oseland
  2. Justin Scrempos

This was by far the hardest position group to project. To be blunt, the offensive line was easily the weakest link for SJSU in 2018. And to coach Brennan’s credit, he and his staff recruited the hell out of linemen. Quinn Oseland and Scott Breslin are two huge transfer pickups that could start at both tackle and guard. My projection depends on whether Troy Kowalski and Jack Snyder would be able to transition to the guard slots. If not, then they could be swapped with Oseland and Breslin.

Defense

Defensive End

  1. Cameron Alexander
  2. Junior Fehoko

Nose Tackle

  1. Sailosi Latu
  2. Christian Johnson
  3. Duane Tuitasi
  4. Lando Grey

Defensive End

  1. Cade Hall
  2. Terrell Townsend

SJSU’s defensive line was a train wreck in 2017. In 2018, led by Boogie Roberts and Bryson Bridges, the unit made an enormous jump. They consistently pressured the QB and were decent against the run. But now, both Roberts and Bridges are gone, so expect this group to come back down to Earth in 2019. There are lots of versatile players on the line, like Christian Johnson and Junior Fehoko who can play anywhere, but the Spartans will likely lack a consistent pass rusher or run stopper like Boogie Roberts was last season. Luckily, Cade Hall returns after leading the team in sacks, but he only had three. It might be another rocky year for the D-line.

Outside Linebacker

  1. Jesse Osuna

Inside Linebacker

  1. Kyle Harmon
  2. Tysyn Parker
  3. Cameron Hanson

Inside Linebacker

  1. Ethan Aguayo
  2. Isaiah Ossai

Outside Linebacker

  1. Hadari Darden
  2. Christian Webb

This is the most stable position for the Spartans going from 2018 to 2019. Kyle Harmon is back from an incredible freshman campaign and will be the defensive anchor. Ethan Aguayo is back after leading the team in tackles. Jesse Osuna was a solid pass rusher that will only get better heading into his senior year. The only question is: who will replace Jamal Scott? I think it’ll be Hadari Darden, who racked up some solid tackles even with sparse playing time last season.

Cornerback

  1. Tre White
  2. Johnny Balderas

Free Safety

  1. Jonathan Lenard Jr.
  2. Stan Livingstone
  3. Bobby Brown II

Strong Safety

  1. Tre Webb
  2. Jalend Dinwiddie

Cornerback

  1. Zamore Zigler
  2. Nehemiah Shelton

The ball-hawk Dakari Monroe is gone, but the Spartans still have some solid promise in the secondary. Zamore Zigler is one of the most exciting players on the roster, and is due for a big senior year. Keep an eye on Stan Livingstone. I have him as the no. 2 free safety but he’ll get a lot of playing time as a true freshman. Think of him as the perfect replacement for Monroe. He’s quick, and has excellent ball skills.

Kicker

  1. Matthew Mercurio
  2. Chris Wood

Punter

  1. Alex Galland
  2. Sox Lee

That wraps up my projections. There’s a decent mix of new and old on this squad, so Brent Brennan and co. have a lot of room for growth in 2019.