While the Spartans entered spring practice in mid-March with a plethora of questions and perhaps the most inexperienced roster in the WAC, first and foremost on that list was who would be throwing the football come September.
The Spartans also signed junior Sean Flynn, who was third in the California Community College system in total offense last year, to compete for the starting gig with returning starter Adam Tafralis, a junior, and redshirt returnees Chad Bozzo and Myles Eden.
Tafralis passed for 1,810 yards and 11 touchdowns but completed only 49.7% of his passes last season. Bozzo appeared in three games before an injury and is clearly the elite runner of the group.
"The quarterback position is like most other positions," coach Dick Tomey said. "It's up for grabs. We have to play it better than we did a year ago. Adam did some terrific things for us. We all know we have to be more consistent. At this point, Adam and Sean Flynn will compete. Chad Bozzo will do as much as he can. The other quarterback is Myles Eden, who will get a lot of work as well."
The defense was also a top priority entering the team's 15 spring practices.
"Like the defensive line, there are a number of guys who will get work during the spring that will determine who will be in our linebacker corps," Tomey said. "Our defense is much less experienced than our offense. That doesn't mean I'm not excited about our defense. I'm excited about the individuals we have, the chance to look at them and to get 15 more days of evidence on about them."
Notes and Quotes
BUILDING BLOCKS: While they aren't strong enough to avoid some long Saturday afternoons this autumn, the San Jose offensive linemen rank with any in the WAC.
Four returning starters, led by OT Matt Cantu, and the arrival of 340-poud Bradis McGriff from Arizona State should make life a little easier for the backfield. "I'm very optimistic about our offensive line, but we have to keep getting better through our off-season program. We have to get quicker and stronger. I like the people we have there," Tomey said.
COACHING CAROUSEL: In his second season at San Jose State, coach Dick Tomey enters the season ranked ninth among active Division 1-A coaches with 161 career wins.
His staff remained in tact from his rookie campaign with the Spartans.
SCHEDULE SITUATION: In terms of not having to leave home, it's hard to imagine a kinder schedule than San Jose State's.
At one point, the Spartans play four straight home games over six weeks. The Oct. 14 homecoming game with Utah State should be the turning point one way or another for San Jose.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Our guys are anxious to learn, anxious to get out here, anxious to be together, anxious to get going. That was very evident." -- San Jose State coach Dick Tomey after his team's first spring practice on March 17.
Strategy and Personnel
STARS OF 2006:
--RB Yonus Davis ranked seventh last season among Division 1-A backs with a 6.7 per attempt average and while he might not equal that mark this season behind one of the conference's elite and most-experienced offensive lines, he should reach the 1,000-yard milestone with relative ease.
--T Matt Cantu should vie for All-WAC honors this season as he anchors the team's strongest unit.
TOP NEWCOMERS: Offensive tackle Bradis McGriff transferred from Arizona State and is hard to miss at 6-6 and nearly 340 pounds.
He was a redshirt as a freshman at Arizona State in 2004 before sitting out last season at San Jose State as a transfer.
He should not only start but could be the team's best lineman this season. Juco transfer Sean Flynn should compete for the starting quarterback job position.
Senior offensive lineman Matt Cantu, a three-year starter, is moving from center to left tackle this spring and should be among the WAC's best there.
Only 10 returning lettermen started at least half the team's games last season and while the Spartans are certainly headed in the right direction, that's usually a telltale sign of an upcoming rebuilding season.
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