SJSU Football Pre Season Recruiting Update!

What names are in the wind as the SJSU football recruiting effort begins taking shape? Here is the first in a series of 2003 Spartan football recruiting updates!

It's mid-January, and college football programs around the country our heading into the home stretch of the annual recruiting marathon.

February 5th is the first day that high school recruits can submit their Letter's-Of-Intent, and officially commit to the school of their choice. Junior college players who graduated this past semester were allowed to officially sign with schools last month.

SJSU, as always, is keeping their recruiting information close to the vest. They have announced the signing of (6) JUCO players who will be transferring to SJSU for the Spring 2003 semester.

These players will be eligible to participate during the upcoming spring scrimmage. As QB Scott Rislov showed last year, participating in the spring can be a great advantage for success in the fall. Any additional news from SJSU has been harder to come by.

What I've learned, and will mention in this article, is information that's currently available on the Internet. Thus, I feel comfortable in knowing I won't be spilling the beans by divulging any "inside information".

The (6) JUCO players that have signed with SJSU are as follow:

Leon Pinkey TE 6-3 260 College Of The Canyons

Bryan Gardner DE 6-4 245 Ventura

Ray Carmel DB 5-11 185 Ventura

Jerrell Hardy DB 6-2 180 Laney

Michael Hodges DL 6-1 255 Chaffey

Dan Armstrong QB 6-0 210 College Of The Desert

TE Pinkey, who runs a 4.8 40yd, was a one time commit for Tennessee.

Gardner is described as very athletic (basketball player) and was 2nd-Team All Conference at Ventura.

Ray Carmel was a one-time starter for Cal as a freshman.

QB Armstrong was originally a back-up at San Diego State.

Hodges was 1st Team All Conference for Chaffey. It's been reported on that RB Tyson Thompson of Garden City (KS) Community College has verbally committed to attend SJSU.

The 5 Star Rated Thompson was a 1st Team Parade All-American coming out of high school, and was the cream of TCU's 2001 recruiting crop. Back in 2001 the runner up to TCU for Thompson's services was the University Of Arkansas, where a young Recruiting Coordinator by the name of Dr. Fitz Hill was then working.

Thompson was ruled ineligible before attending TCU, so he's spent the past two seasons in western Kansas. Thompson is 6-1, 205, and runs a 4.3 40yd. Needless to say, if Thompson does indeed come to SJSU, (and is eligible), he could have a huge impact on the Spartan offense, which, though successful, lacked a big time runner last season. The Spartans did not have a single RB record a 100 yard performance in 2002. With Thompson in the backfield, that could change quickly.

Three other JUCO OL's have been mentioned as either having interest in SJSU, or vise-versa. They are Sam Vegas (6-5 330) from Hartnell JC in Salinas, Derrick Durbin (6-3 280) from Mt. SAC, and Lawrence Figueroa (6-1 270) from Bakersfield JC.

Two JUCO recruits from Mt SAC that SJSU missed out on were LB Francis Blay-Miezah (6-2 225) who committed to Cal, and DL Chuck Asiodu (6-2 255), who is headed for Colorado St.

On the high school front, it appears Fitz Hill is recruiting in the areas where he's had recent success, namely the East Bay and Southern California.

Also, as in the past two years, there are a few names from outside the state of California. The East Bay connection may be why the February 5th Recruiting Announcement event is being held in Milpitas (at Dave & Busters in the Great Mall). Here are the names I've been able to come up with in my research:

From the East Bay:

Lucas Bradley LB 6-3 220 4.73 Irvington HS – Fremont

John Joseph QB 6-2 185 4.6 Edison HS – Stockton

J.C. Lewis QB 6-0 190 4.8 Las Lomas HS – Walnut Creek

Keith Vensen LB 6-4 215 NA McClymonds HS – Oakland

Jonathan Iglehart CB 6-0 186 4.43 Bishop O'Dowd HS –Oakland

From Southern California:

Jason Ferguson WR 5-7 170 4.5 Fairfax HS – Los Angeles

D.J. Jones LB 6-1 210 4.58 Dorsey HS – Los Angeles

Brandon Smith RB 5-8 159 4.5 Narbonne HS – Harbor City

Greg Chatman WR 6-2 190 4.4 Carson HS – Carson

Gary White WR 6-2 185 4.6 Dorsey HS – Los Angeles

Whitfield Usher OL 6-3 315 NA Dorsey HS – Los Angeles


Alex Hogue WR 6-4 200 4.5 Menlo-Atherton HS – Menlo Park, CA

Aaron Lumsden QB 6-1 190 5.2 Biggs HS – Biggs, CA

Billy White WR 6-2 195 4.5 Granite Bay HS – Granite Bay, CA

John McDowell RB 5-10 182 4.4 Permian HS – Odessa, TX

John Shevlin S 6-1 195 4.5 Eastview Sr. HS – Apple Valley, MN

Nick Fuhr LB 6-2 220 4.67 Service HS – Anchorage, AK

Tierre Green DB 6-1 185 4.5 Benson HS – Omaha, NB

From this list of names, I like LB D.J. Jones, who is a described as a speedy LB, ala Lawrence Taylor. He is reportedly deciding between SJSU and Oregon.

Safety John Shevlin is expected to make an official visit to SJSU on January 24th. He has reportedly been offered a scholarship already. WR Alex Hogue caught 65 passes for 1,152 yards and 21 TD's for Menlo Atherton.

DB Tierre Green from Omaha recorded 50 solo tackles, 13 assisted tackles, 1 INT return for a TD, and 2 forced fumbles. Both Iowa State and Nebraska are interested in Green as well. Both players listed from Dorsey HS (Whitfield Usher and Gary White) have been offered scholarships, as have Keith Vensen and Jonathan Iglehart.

WR Greg Chatman is probably a long shot as a number of BCS schools are interested in him. How many of these players SJSU will land, I cannot say. I'm sure there are many more names not mentioned on my list, including local players from the South Bay.

Three HS players that the Spartans recruited, but have verbally committed elsewhere are DL Leon Drummer (6-4 308) who was Trestin George's former teammate at St. Mary's HS in Berkeley, (he is headed for Cal), CB Roy Lewis from Narbonne HS, Harbor City, CA (5-10 184), (also headed to Cal), and PK Sergio Arquayo from San Jacinto (CA) HS. He will attend UNLV.

One additional name I'd love to see on this list is OL Dan Christian from SFCC. The 6-6 320 lb Christian is regarded as the top JUCO offensive lineman in the country. He has not yet committed to any school yet, and is keeping a low profile. SJSU would be an extreme long shot, but I can't help think about what a great replacement he'd be for OT Tim Provost, who is headed for the NFL.


"If you don't got dreams, you've got nightmares"

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