Coach Margerum talks about the receiver corps

A look at Ken Margerum's history in football will be the first clue that San Jose State has a top-notch and knowledgeable coach at the helm of the wide-receivers. Margerum spoke briefly about his pass-catchers after Saturday's scrimmage.

San Jose State wide receivers coach Ken Margerum knows what it takes to play at the highest level.

How's this for a resume?

  • Two-time first-team All-American
  • Three-time first-team All Pac-10
  • Held the Pac-10 career touchdowns receptions record for 25 years
  • Member of the 1981 NFL All-Rookie team
  • Seven year NFL career
  • Super Bowl ring
  • Academic All-American

Not too shabby. It would be difficult to say he hasn't done it all as a player. He lists former Spartan great Bill Walsh as the No. 1 influence in his coaching career. He played for Walsh while at Stanford and as a 49er. Oh yeah, and he caught passes from John Elway. The list of some of the great players he's coached include Chase Lyman, Goeff McArthur, Mark Bradford, Evan Moore, Burl Toler, and many more.

Margerum has been coached by some of the games greatest - Hall of Famers Walsh and Mike Ditka. He once said he wasn't sure if Ditka liked him, but he felt he respected him. Margerum won a Super Bowl with the Bears and Ditka, but doesn't follow in hard-nosed Ditka's coaching footsteps. "I'm not a big fan of tough coaches," he said.

So when when the chance arose to talk with Margerum about the wide receiver corps at San Jose State, we asked a few questions but mainly listened.

Senior wide receiver Kevin Jurovich didn't see much action in Saturday's scrimmage, but looks to be a pivotal part of the Spartans attack this fall

"Of all the guys I've coach, this is a very talented group," he said. "With (Marquis) Avery, (Jalal) Beauchman, and (Kevin) Jurovich, those top three, I don't think I've had a group where the talent level is that bunched together."

He said there wasn't much drop-off from those top three and the rest of the group. "There is a little separation physically with the size of Jalal and Marquis, Kevin is a 'tweener' and he is deceptively fast. The other four guys are really coming along to give us real good, solid depth. So we have a corps of seven right now that I feel can play (Football Bowl Subdivision) football."

On Saturday, the Spartans conducted their first full-contact scrimmage of the 2009 Spring Practice session. Jurovich didn't see much action in the workout. "I didn't want to play him too much so I could see what some of the younger guys were doing and see how they were developing," Margerum said.

"Marquis Avery started out shaky, he dropped a couple balls. He hasn't played in a year. I said 'Marquis, I'm going to hang in there with you, I believe in you, believe in yourself.' Then at the end of practice he catches the touchdown, so he leaves on a good note. It's a good thing," he said.

Freshman wide receiver Jordan Johnson scored a touchdown during Saturday's scrimmage

"Jalal had a nice day," Margerum said. "He's getting better and better each year. Jordan Johnson and Michael Avila are both explosive as slot receivers. Khalil Paden is pushing for playing time." He added that Josh Harrison has been doing well. "He's had to work through things," Margerum said, without going into detail.

Coach Margerum said he was concerned a bit with some dropped balls, but that he wasn't about to get down on his players. "That's going to happen with a few guys but I'm not going to pull them," he said. "I let them play through it and they responded. Therefore they get to feel better about themselves as opposed to feeling like they were benched. I was pleased with the way they responded after a drop or a dead play."



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Don Hoekwater is the Publisher of Inside Sparta. You may contact Don with any questions, comments, or tips at publisher@insidesparta.com

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