San Jose State football wrapped up two days of media publicity on Thursday, at Bay Area College Football Media Day at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Head coach Ron Caragher appeared and was accompanied by two senior players, linebacker Christian Tago and wide receiver Tim Crawley. Cal and Stanford, the two other college football programs in the Bay Area, also sent representatives to speak with local media. This came the day after a round of interviews with San Jose State and other West Division teams at Mountain West Conference Media Days in Las Vegas. Fall camp begins on Friday, Aug. 5.
Below are highlights of comments made by Caragher, Tago, and Crawley with Inside the Spartans’ Andrew Pang.
Caragher on the coming season: “We’re going to be a competitive football team. In every game, we’re going to compete…[and] compete for the conference championship...our guys have had a good foundation and offseason, starting with spring football practice and then carrying over into their summer workouts.”
Caragher on the offensive line: “The rushing game really starts with the guys up front in the trenches. They’re the ones who move people and create the hole...We have four starters who were sophomores last year, and all four of them are back...We’re going to move Nate Velichko over to left tackle.”
Caragher on running backs: “We’ll start with a committee, and then we’ll see who rises to the top...The group starts this fall with Thomas Tucker...hopefully he’ll round that corner and be healthy. Last year we had a [true] freshman in Malik Roberson…[who] really did some good things. Jarrod Lawson...rushed for 1,000 yards as a redshirt freshman...he’s a tough, hard worker, tough to tackle [and] bring down.”
Caragher on Zamore Zigler, a running back who redshirted last year as a true freshman: “...a young version of Tyler Ervin. He’s got great acceleration and burst...on the frail side, about 170 pounds.”
Caragher on graduate transfer running back Deontae Cooper: “So far, [his health] has been really good, and that’s why we felt that confident in bringing him in, that he would be able to stay healthy. I’ve never had a seventh-year senior.”
Caragher on recruiting: “We got a couple commitments in the last month, and I feel like we’re just laying a foundation…Defensive line is important to get good numbers there…[and] one of the top key priorities…”
Caragher on the NCAA reinstating satellite camps: “It helped us, because we were able to...take our coaching staff and our staff around the state of California…It gave campers from all around the state the opportunity to come without the travel expenses.”
Caragher on conference realignment and the Mountain West: “It’s very possible that one or two of our elite teams in the conference could get plucked by another conference. But I know also that our conference office has some teams waiting in the wings that would love to move in the Mountain West...I really the like the conference, the way it’s set up. It’s a challenging conference, having moved up from the WAC.”
Christian Tago on the new defensive scheme: “It’s very similar to what coach Greg Robinson ran...he just gave us that mindset of stopping the run…I think you’ll see this coming this season.”
Tago on former defensive coordinator Greg Robinson and new DC Ron English: “He’s a players’ coach, just as Ron English is a players’ coach.”
Tago on run defense: “It’s all about mentality...During spring ball, I could definitely see some of the guys having a chip on their shoulders.”
Crawley on the last season: “It did motivate me to be a better football player...It was actually the first season...where I could focus on one particular position.”
Crawley on the offensive scheme: “I expect the offense to be more efficient...I’m just excited to see what Kenny [Potter] can do and we can do as an offense...We’ve been working on a more balanced, more diverse offense. We’ve definitely been focused on getting the ball downfield, [with] deep routes and immediate routes.”
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