Welcome to the ninth piece of our twelve-part series that hopefully makes the dead period go by a bit quicker. These articles aim to provide a detailed look at what each team has done thus far on the recruiting trail and what work still needs to be put in before NLI day in February. One team a day will be featured this year in alphabetical order. Today will look at San Jose State.
San Jose State:
The Spartans were an intriguing pick to win the Mountain West this year, and after an up and down season, they nearly did. They got off to a horrendous start, losing five of their first six games, to two P5 teams, Toledo, and then Air Force and Boise State in conference play. Their lone win to Cal Poly in convincing fashion. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the switch flipped and San Jose State was the hottest team in the Mountain West. They destroyed New Mexico, took care of business against Utah State, shutout Hawaii, landed a big win in Fresno, and then beat San Diego State. To close out the season, they upset UNLV in Vegas for their sixth straight win. Unfortunately, SJSU lost the tie-breaker to play in the MW championship. Instead, they had a long time before their bowl game, played flat, and lost to Coastal Carolina.
Through the ups and downs of the season, the Spartans kept attending to their recruiting class, and ended up with the type of classes they have become known for under Coach Brennan. Keep reading to hear about this year’s version.
The Road So Far:
Typically in the Coach Brennan era, San Jose State has not needed to look outside of California and that was true again this cycle, with 14 in-state players, plus one from Texas. In total, they signed 19 players, 10 from high school, 5 from junior college, and 4 transfers. 8 are slotted from offense, while 9 will play defense, plus two are listed as athletes.
Offensively, Alonzo Contreras may be a bit small for a quarterback but he definitely has enough ability. Jabari Mann is a tremendous get at running back and he will be joined by a speedy transfer in Floyd Chalk. They added another transfer at wide receiver, TreyShun Hurry, who should be able to get into the rotation right away. Tight end Jacob Stewart is another veteran addition and he has huge size and should be a big target. Then, the Spartans added a trio of offensive linemen, and size was clearly a priority. Mohammad Othman, Manuel Serna, and Tevita Manukainiu are all 6’5” or taller, and all weigh 280lbs or more.
Over on defense, Soane Kolokihakaufisi comes in from the junior college circuit to boost the depth there. They added a high school and JUCO pass rusher, with Noa Siaosi being the former and Pau Reed the latter. David Tuihalangingie is another JUCO player looking to crack the rotation right away, but defensive back seemed to be the biggest area of focus. Joseph Bey and Marcellus Chandler both look like they will develop into talented players over time, while Malakai Hoeft, Rocket Rahimi, and Larry Turner-Gooden know what it takes to succeed at the college level as transfers in one way or another. Finally, Gregory McClendon and Jaylen Thomas are long and rangy athletes who can play a few different positions,
Number who signed in December: 19
Number who will enroll early: 5
247 Composite Rankings (subject to change):
- Overall: 101st
- Recruiting: 105th
- Transfer: 72nd
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: WR, DL, LB
San Jose State did solid work covering every position so far in their class, but a few still need more attention devoted to them. It would also not be surprising if they continued to draw from the college or junior college levels to fill those gaps.
Looking at the positions of need, wide receiver would figure to be near the top of the list. Since they will be breaking in a new quarterback, having as many weapons to throw to as possible would be beneficial. On defense, they were a bit short on interior defensive linemen and linebackers. Given how the Spartan defense played this season, injecting new talent to shore up the deficits makes sense and should be an area of focus over the next few weeks in the portal; although mining for high school talent would be a bad idea to consider, either.
The Spartans showed they are not afraid to be aggressive when pursuing players in the transfer portal or at the junior college level and will probably continue that approach as they move forward. They have shown they are skilled at identifying players to fit their system well and have a knack for getting them at the Bay, so they should be able to finish off their class without an issue.
Coming next: UNLV