Dick Tomey: The Next Phase of Spring Practice

Head Coach, Dick Tomey, and eighty players are participating in spring ball drills and the work will resume on April 2nd after spring break ends. It looks like SJSU has had it's best off-season in many years, and it will manifest itself in the fall. With only five home games this season, the Spartans will be working to reach 9 wins again in 2007, and the attitude of the staff is very confident.

The Spartans, coming off a 9-4 season and a win in the first-ever New Mexico Bowl, just finished their second week of spring practice. Eighty players are participating in workouts which will resume on April 2 after spring break.

"We're working real hard," SJSU coach Dick Tomey said in a press release. "We're not close to being the kind of team we want to be, but I think that is common during the spring. The good news is that we're working hard.

"From what I've known about this program, we've had our best off-season. I think it will manifest itself in the fall, but there is a lot of work to be done to be the kind of team we want to be."

The Spartans lost their top three receivers -- James Jones (70-893-10 TDs), John Brousaard (52-844-7 TDs) and Chester Coleman (19-199-1 TD), and senior Michael Hooper (3-21) is the top returnee. Top new wideouts are Terrence Williams (6-5, 225) of City College San Francisco, David Richmond (6-3, 200) from Santa Ana JC and Kyle Flynn (6-2, 205) from LA Harbor JC.

Tomey has the program headed in the right direction, but with only five home games this season, the Spartans will be hard-pressed to reach nine wins this year.

BUILDING BLOCKS: The Spartans' defense should continue to get better and better as head coach Dick Tomey's scheme continues to take hold. The unit has its two most effective players returning -- inside linebacker Matt Castelo (165 tackles) and All American cornerback Dwight Lowery (9 interceptions, 48 tackles). Lowery is a shutdown corner, who could start for any team on the West Coast. Castelo is undersized for the middle, but uses quickness and guile to get the job done.

COACHING CAROUSEL: Charles Nash returns to the field after serving as strength and conditioning coach. He'll coach running backs this season. Dave Fipp, who was co-defensive coordinator last year, has the job by himself now. The Spartans will have two new assistants, but their names have yet to be released.

SCHEDULE SITUATION: This is a bear of a schedule with Arizona State, Kansas State and Stanford, all on the road, to open the season. SJSU plays at Fresno State on Oct. 20 and at Boise State Nov. 3. Those two games will be critical.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "There is more competition this year for positions than there's been in my two years here." -- SJSU head coach Dick Tomey.

STARS OF 2007: RB Yonus Davis -- The diminutive 5-7 180-pound senior gained 1,007 yards last season, and has the ability to run inside and outside.

QB Adam Tafralis -- Passed for 2,284 yards and 21 scores last season, and improved his passing percentage from the previous season.

LB Matt Castelo -- Moved to inside linebacker last season, and responded with 165 tackles, by far the best on the defensive unit.

CB Dwight Lowery -- Intercepted nine passes and returned the thefts for 111 yards. He also had 48 tackles.

TOP NEWCOMERS: S Jonathan Harris -- The 195-pounder was a three-star by Scout.com out of College of San Mateo.

OL -- Isaac Leatiota didn't play last year, but was highly recruited out of high school. He could crack the depth chart this year.

CB Joe Bates -- The JC transfer from Laney College in Oakland, Calif. has good size and athleticism. He was ranked three stars by Scout.com.

S Duke Ihenacho -- The 200-pound safety has been clocked in 4.55 in the 40 and is ranked 54th nationally by Scout.com.

ROSTER REPORT: According to the sports information office, TE Jeff Clark and DE Justin Cole will miss spring ball but return in the fall.

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