What was learned in the spring - The Offense

Who made an impression during the spring practice that concluded on Saturday? Inside Sparta will recap the spring and point out who impressed along with a possible depth chart. In this segment we look at the offense.

Spring 2009 Report - By Position
Part One – The Offense

There are two sides to spring football depth charts. On one side, they're fun to put together, they can be an indicator as to which players have performed well during spring practices, and fans love to read them. On the other side, they can become meaningless by the time September rolls around. It's with that in mind that Inside Sparta takes a look at each position, and how they have shaken out over the past month of practice, pointing out who stood out or helped themselves at each position, and who may have the inside track towards starting in the fall.

Offensive Line
The offensive line is easily the most improved unit on the team. Unlike this point last year they are, for the most part, a healthy unit. At center, Ronnie Castillo and Robbie Reed are having a nice battle for the top spot. At this point, Castillo probably has the edge. The top guards are Isaac Leatiota and Ailao Eliapo, with Andres Vargas backing them up. At tackle, John Konye and Jon Moreno have both seen the bulk of the snaps with the No. 1 unit. Fred Koloto and Steve Lightsy are their immediate back-ups. However, look for Koloto, who is coming off an injury in 2008, to challenge for a starting spot by the time the season starts.

Heading into the 2009 season, the starting QB spot is Kyle Reed's to lose. He appears to have a strong hold of the No. 1 spot thus far, despite strong competition from junior Jordan La Secla. Reed seems to be getting more comfortable in Coach Terry Malley's offense. He is now looking for his second and third options in pass progressions, rather than locking in on the primary receiver. A much improved La Secla has shown a strong arm, and has avoided turning the ball over. He has really pushed Reed hard, and in all likelihood has moved into the No 2 role. One can already tell that Chad Bozzo, with his running ability, is going to be a factor. He gives San Jose State's offense an entirely different twist. Look for all three of the QB's to see playing time this season.

Running Back:
The emphasis this spring has been all about power running. Three backs, Lamon Muldrow, Patrick Perry, and Chris Reese, have received the bulk of the carries thus far. What do they have in common? All of them weigh in at over 200 lbs. At this point, it appears that Muldrow and Perry are slightly ahead of Chris Reese. But all three have had done some good things this spring. With Cameron Island held out of practices entirely, and Dominique Hunsucker and Brandon Rutley having limited participation, the smaller backs haven't been a factor. Freshman Marcos Garces has also helped himself out this spring.

Wide Receiver:
By far the deepest position on the team, the wide receiving corps, is a virtual basket of talent. The top three appear to be Kevin Jurovich, Jalal Beauchman and Marquis Avery, in that order. Closely behind them are speedsters Mike Avila and Josh Harrison. Redshirt freshman Jordon Johnson has shown a knack for getting separation from defenders, and is very elusive with the ball in his hands. As a whole, the WR group isn't yet where they need to be, and more hard work is needed. But, the foundation for a strong season has been laid. The talent of this unit is making each individual raise their level of play.

Tight Ends:
The move of 6-foot-5 WR Terrence Williams to tight end is going to pay dividends. He will cause problems for opposing linebackers trying to cover him, especially if they are undersized. Newcomer Avelino Valencia, at 6-foot-5, 250-pounds, is providing size and strength. One of the most impressive players in the spring has been redshirt freshman Ryan Otten. He has shown great athleticism at every practice.

Spring 2009 Offensive Two-Deep Depth Chart*
QB Kyle Reed / Jordan LaSecla
RB Lamon Muldrow / Patick Perry
FB Ina Liaina / Philip Knight
WR Kevin Jurovich / Josh Harrison
WR Jalal Beauchman / Marquis Avery
TE Terrence Williams / Avelino Valencia
C Ronnie Castillo / Robbie Reed
OG Isaac Leatiota / Amar Albassam
OG Ailao Eliapo / Andres Vargas
OT John Konye / Steve Lightsy
OT Jon Moreno / Fred Koloto

Mike Morgan is Senior Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Mike with any questions, comments, or tips at mike@insidesparta.com

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