When a team goes 1-11 usually there is nowhere to go but up. Although the Spartans do have some players that will be missed and tough to replace. We will highlight three positions in particular but the ones that did not make the cut that Coach Brennan will have to find a replacement include Jamal Scott’s spot at middle linebacker.
The former Arizona State transfer, Scott was 3rd on the team in tackles and 2nd in sacks last season. The return of fellow linebackers Ethan Aguayo and Jesse Osuna were #1,#2 in tackles last season which should help soften the blow. Possible replacements for Scott include Kyle Harmon who saw action in all 12 games last year, and also Tysyn Parker who saw the field a great deal 2 seasons ago when he was a freshman.
Josh Oliver: The former TE has garnered lots of NFL interest as he played in the Senior Bowl and will participate in the NFL Combine next month. Oliver will be missed on the San Jose roster this season as he could not only catch (56 receptions, 709 yards, 4 TDS) but could also block. The former tight end was a go-to target for whoever was in the game at QB with Oliver’s ability to go across the middle with his great size (6’5, 250 lbs).
His likely replacement will be Billy Humphries who was the #2 TE last season. Humpries is 15 pounds lighter than Oliver as he plays at 235, so it will be interesting to watch if he is able to block much bigger Defensive Ends and Outside Linebackers this coming season.
Dakari Monroe When the season started out not many people had Dakari Monroe on their All-Conference Preseason Team but there was no denying his strong senior season. Monroe had a knack for deflecting passes as he finished 2018 with 15 pass breakups, almost more than double anyone else on the team. The local product out of Mitty High School also finished with a team-high 4 interceptions. The corner spots look like they will be filled by former runningback Zamore Zigler who filled in at times on one side while the other spot likely goes to Tre Webb. Webb who played in 10 games last season finished with the most tackles out of all defensive backs and also had the 3rd most pass breakups.
Defensive Line A strong suit for the Spartans from the beginning of the season to the end was there senior leaders on the defensive line. Byson Bridge who was a 2nd Team All-Conference player, Boogie Roberts who was honorable mention All-Conference and Saliosi Latu will all have to be replaced this season. When Latu went down after only being able to play in 5 games due to an injury the defensive line was mixed up and Cade Hall was able to play. Not only did he play, but he made an impact as he lead the team in sacks as a freshman. The other two defensive line spots will be determined over spring and summer camps but Cameron Alexander and Junior Fuhoko seem to have a leg up on the competition. Alexander will have some of the most experience out of anyone on that defensive line coming into his Junior season after playing in 11 games last year. Fuhoko although listed as an outside linebacker was able to get pressure on passing downs when he got in towards the end of the year.