Reviewing the Recruiting Class of 2010

On Dec. 17 San Jose State named Mike MacIntyre as the new head football coach. At the time he had one verbal commitment, and the dead period began the following day. It's now Feb. 5 and the Spartans have the No. 2-ranked recruiting class in the WAC. How does this class stand up to prior SJSU classes, and what are the implications for the future?

The San Jose State football team was coming off a horrendous 2-10 season, a season that began with such hope. Head coach Dick Tomey retired and an unknown named Mike MacIntyre was hired away from Duke University. The date of MacIntyre's hire was Dec. 17, one day prior to the recruiting dead period when coaches are only able to make one phone call per week to prospective student athletes. Until Jan. 4 that is the only contact MacIntyre was able to initiate with prospects.

During that time he was able to review film and reports on the current players offered by SJSU while pouring over newspapers and websites such as Inside Sparta gathering information on other players to evaluate and consider. When Jan. 4 arrived he and his staff had a lot of catching up to do.

Working tirelessly day and night when, National Signing Day arrived on Feb. 3 MacIntyre and his staff had pulled off no less than a recruiting miracle. Not only did he fill the allotted 25 slots, he brought in two more players due to unused scholarships carried over from the previous year to finish the recruiting season with 27 signed student athletes.

The final result is the No. 2 recruiting class in the Western Athletic Conference for the 2010 season. The Spartans have failed to get any closer than third since 2002, and finished dead last in 2008. In those years the coaching staffs had full years to get the players they wanted.

Former head coach Dick Tomey came on in 2006 with a shortened time-frame as well and his final class that year finished at No. 4, which was impressive at the time given where SJSU had fallen up to then. That was the highest the Spartans finished in the WAC since 2002...until this year.

Coach MacIntyre has promptly dispelled several myths regarding San Jose State football that have developed over the years.

  • San Jose State can only get rejects from other bigger and more prestigious conferences

  • SJSU took several players who had received offers from BCS conferences, including:

  • San Jose State can only get players who don't have offers from any other schools

  • The Spartans also grabbed many players who had offers from Mountain West Conference schools and fellow WAC members. Including the players above SJSU was also able to sign:

  • SJSU has no fan support

  • At the Signing Day event at the Barrett Ballroom in the San Jose State Student Union, the place was standing-room only - nearly 300 staunch supports showed up to meet the new class. This event had been sparsely attended in prior years.

Then there's Ah'Keem McKinney. The four-star defensive end out of Pasadena City College via Griffin, Ga. The 6-foot-6, 280-pound McKinney has been described as, "a monster on the field" and that, "San Jose State got a truly exceptional player." While he is listed as a four-star, one analyst said that McKinney could have garnered a fifth star had he stayed at Pasadena another season.

Lastly, there's Kyle Nunn and David Freeman. Freeman actually played and started for a BCS school - Washington - so you know there's top talent there.

Nunn is one of those hidden gems who snuck in under the radar. Once MacIntyre and the staff saw him they knew they had to get him on campus, which they did. Having done that it was just a matter of signing on the dotted line, which he did.

Both of these players probably deserve another star, which would put SJSU's class in contention with Fresno State for the No. 1 in the conference recruiting rankings.

One more thought as to the underrated quality of this class. ranks a four-star as a four-star, it doesn't matter the position. However, when comparing the SJSU class keep this in mind: Fresno State's four-star player is a punter. San Jose State's is a defensive end. Who's on the field more?

Coach MacIntyre brought in the best recruiting class in at least 10 years for San Jose State, and has re-kindled interest in SJSU football - all in a little over a month. What does that bode for the future? That San Jose State should haul in no less than the No. 1 WAC recruiting class in 2011. Of course improvement on the field will be a great assist toward that goal, and that task begins on March 12 when spring practice opens.

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

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