San Jose State Football: Projecting The 2020 Spring Depth Chart
The Spartans took a big step forward in 2019, but how might they replace their key departures? We predict how they could start.
The next steps could be the hardest.
2019 proved a big leap forward for the success-starved San Jose State Spartans, but planning the path to bowl eligibility is about to get a little tougher.
Losing an Offensive Player of the Year is challenge enough for any program, but key playmakers depart on the defensive side of the ball as well. The Spartans have recruited competitively under Brent Brennan, but it might be the arrival of key transfers that will make or break the next twelve months. How might it all shake out at the start of spring, at least?
Note: Projected spring first-teamers in italics.
Nick Starkel, Grad.
Nick Nash, Soph.
Perhaps the most high-profile name to arrive in the Mountain West through the transfer portal thus far, it’s hard not to imagine Brent Brennan and offensive coordinator Kevin McGiven giving Starkel the opportunity to be a bridge for the other young signal-callers on the roster. That’s not a guarantee, though, since Chance La Chapelle could be ready to take a step forward and Nash, after a successful stint as a change-of-pace running QB last fall, could be in line for a bigger niche.
Between those three and Alec Trujillo, a three-star recruit in the 2019 class, this will take time to sort out. The program’s upward trajectory depends on getting this choice right.
Tyler Nevens, Sr.
Kairee Robinson, Soph.
Long a sore spot for the Spartans, at least one proven commodity returns but the likelihood of a committee seems substantial. Robinson got more work in the second half of the year and gave the running game some life, averaging 4.44 yards per carry and catching two touchdowns from Josh Love in his last four games, so a strong spring could nudge him to the RB1 spot come August.
Tre Walker, Sr.
JaQuan Blackwell, Sr.
Bailey Gaither, Grad.
Jermaine Braddock, Soph.
Isaiah Hamilton, Soph.
Andre Crump, Soph.
If the quarterback situation gets settled sooner rather than later, watch out. The whole gang, save for Sitaleki Nunn and not even including promising underclassmen like Isaiah Holiness, is back for another round, giving the Spartans perhaps the deepest pass-catching unit in the conference.
Billy Humphreys, Sr.
Derrick Deese Jr., Sr.
Considering how much the Spartans threw the ball last year, the fact that these two combined for just 34 catches is a mild surprise, but they headline another deep skill position group. Someone is going to have to replace Brett Foley’s targets, after all, so a veteran like Jackson Burrill could be in line for a bigger role, as well.
Jackson Synder, Sr.
Scott Breslin, Jr.
Tyler Ostrom, Soph.
Lamar Barrett, Jr.
Kyle Hoppe, Sr.
Trevor Robbins, Sr.
Tyler Stevens, Jr.
Lamar Barrett, Jr.
Jaime Navarro, Soph.
Anthony Pardue, Soph.
The Spartans were fortunate to start the same five linemen every game last fall, but finding the right replacements this spring will be just as important as identifying the new starting quarterback, especially if they want to solve their seasons-long woes running the football. A juco import like Barrett could be a key swingman at guard and tackle.