Talianko Talks About SJSU Commitment

On Wednesday, San Jose State head football coach Mike MacItyre accepted a verbal commitment from Travis Talianko of St. Francis High School in La Canada, Calif. It's the second Spartan commitment in as many weeks, and Inside Sparta spoke Thursday with Talianko to find out why it's SJSU.

On Saturday the San Jose State football team racked up its second-straight victory of the 2011 season. Along with that win, for the second week in a row the Spartans picked up a verbal commitment. Wide receiver/safety Travis Talianko of St. Francis High School in La Canada, Calif., called SJSU head coach Mike MacIntyre on Tuesday evening to try and accept the scholarship offer extended near the end of July.

"He was in a meeting so he wasn't available," Talianko told Inside Sparta. "But he called me back (Wednesday) and I was able to let him know I was committing."

Talianko becomes the third verbal for Coach MacIntyre's improving program, joining offensive lineman Kyle Hart of Burroughs High in Ridgecrest, and tight end Jordan Thiel of Simi Valley High School. The win over Colorado State in Fort Collins showed Talianko that MacIntyre wasn't selling him a bill of goods.

"I'd researched San Jose State and they'd gone 1-12 last year but Coach MacIntyre was telling me they were going to get better," Talianko said. "With them almost beating UCLA, then the wins over New Mexico State and Colorado State, it showed me he was telling me the truth, they are getting better."

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Talianko said the Spartans were his only offer, and SJSU was the one school showing it really wanted him to play at 7th and Alma. He said he was getting interest from other schools, but none has the urgency of San Jose State. He mentioned making several trips north over the summer to perform in front of the SJSU staff, and it finally paid off when MacIntyre made the offer in the summer.

However, interest wasn't the only factor in Talianko's decision.

"Coach (Gary) Bernardi recruited my head coach Jim Bonds," he said. "And (defensive backs coach) Andy La Russa played for Coach Bonds. Coach La Russa actually called me when he was at Northern Arizona. Then he came to San Jose and we stayed in touch."

It's not an unusual occurrence in recent years for a player with one early offer commit to that school, then have second thoughts as other schools begin to show more interest and make offers. Talianko was emphatic that his decision wasn't made on a whim.

"It's San Jose State," he said. "Coach MacIntyre told me and my dad that he thinks of his team as his family, and we could really see that when we were up there. I have no interest in taking other visits or talking to other teams."

Talianko said his first love is wide receiver. He added he's played the position his entire football career but is open to the possibility of moving to the defensive side of the ball. The Spartan coaches evidently spotted some potential at the safety spot and ran some drills with Talianko at the position. As such, he said he will most likely play safety for the Spartans.

St. Francis is of to a 4-0 start and looks to avenge a 42-28 loss last season to Paso Robles in a Thursday night contest.

Don Hoekwater is the Publisher of Inside Sparta. You are welcome to contact Don with any questions or suggestions at publisher@insidesparta.net.

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