How Being Limited to Calif May Hurt SJSU

Earlier Inside Sparta analyzed how out-of-state tuition costs have hampered the San Jose State basketball program. It's now time to look at the affect on the football program. Even in a talent-rich state such as California, being limited to the home state players can put SJSU at a major recruiting disadvantage compared to other programs with larger budgets.

It's an impossible task to determine what effect, if any, not recruiting out-of-state players has molded the won-loss of the San Jose State football team because there's no quantifiable way to make such calculations. But it doesn't take that big a step of faith to believe that having only players from California in its recruiting pool has hamstrung Spartan football to some degree. This despite the Golden State ranking in the top five in the country annually at producing collegiate footballers.

But let's take a look at this -- here's the state makeup of the most recent Boise State football roster**, the Broncos being the top team in the Western Athletic Conference for some time now:

  • 18 Idaho natives
  • 35 Californians (almost the total from remaining states combined)
  • Eight from Arizona
  • Six each from Texas and Washington
  • Five from Oregon
  • Four from Colorado
  • Three from Nevada
  • Three from The Netherlands
  • Two from Georgia
  • Two from Wyoming
  • One apiece from New Jersey, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota and Canada

So without tuition waivers in football recruiting, it's not a stretch to say BSU couldn't be maintaining the position it currently enjoys in the WAC.

As for maybe a more appropriate comparison vis-à-vis San Jose State, the 2008-2009 Fresno State football roster** lists:

  • 91 players from California
  • Four from Texas
  • Three from Nevada
  • One from Arizona

For the record, from what we could determine the Bulldogs' non-Californians included a starting center, a starting linebacker, an ALL-WAC offensive tackle, and a starting defensive tackle. So Pat Hill is carefully cherry-picking when extending the more expensive scholarship offers.

Let's now look at the current San Jose State football 99 player roster (which obviously, as does the others, includes walk-ons) for out-of-staters:

  • Tyler Cope K - Oregon (Colorado transfer)
  • Braden Storassli LB - Hawai'i
  • Judd Meadows DT - Texas

All three are walk-ons.

There's also offensive guard Steve Lightsy out of Hawai'i, but he was a transfer from Fresno City College and he likely established residency in California prior to his transfer to San Jose State, thus negating any out--of-state tuition charges.

Now this is probably more from the 'For What It's Worth Department' but looking at the 2008-2009 ALL-WAC offensive, defensive and special teams selections, here is the cumulative state residency breakdown per WAC squad:

  • Boise State: (5) - three from California, one from New Jersey, one from Canada
  • Fresno State: (1) - from Nevada
  • Hawaii: (4) - two from California, one from Texas, one from Washington
  • Idaho: (3) - one each from California, Colorado and Washington
  • Louisiana Tech: (4) - all from Louisiana
  • Nevada: (6) - four from California, one from Nevada, one from Alabama
  • New Mexico State: (1) - from New Mexico
  • San Jose State: (3) - all from California
  • Utah State: (0)

In summary, arch-rival Fresno State has obviously relaxed the number out-of-state tuition charges but is still primarily looking within California for talent. FSU reaches out of state when it can bring in a top contributor.

Boise State must look elsewhere for a sizable portion of its roster or wouldn't be able to maintain a Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly D-1A) football program.

San Jose State football is currently hamstrung in this regard so out-of-state tuition waivers for five or so non-Californian football prospects would be a blessing. Coach Tomey could then selectively reach for non-Golden Staters at key positions when, for example, the 'crop' for quarterbacks or cornerbacks is slim in-state for a particular recruiting year.

In the vein of Spike Lee's best film, SJSU is hoping CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed grants their athletic department 10 or so overall out-of-state tuition waivers to be spread across the Spartan athletics programs.

** It is impossible to precisely tell the status of each player as a number of them are non-scholarshipped walk-ons.

Kevin McCarthy is the Basketball Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Kevin with any questions, comments, or tips at

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