By Kavin Mistry (@kavinm95 ):
We are now seven days into Brent Brennan’s first Fall camp as head coach of the San Jose State Spartans and there is a lot we have learned.
1 – The Spartans secondary is strong once again
It is no secret that the secondary or the “Money Team” is must watch TV every game for the Spartans and 2017 will be no different. With the return of Andre Chachere, Maurice Mcknight, Jermaine Kelly and Dakari Monroe, expect teams to think twice before attacking the Spartans in the air.
“We have a lot of experienced guys in the back end and more importantly is just getting the younger guys back on track,” secondary coach Will Harris said. “I think working with the up-tempo offense is good because South Florida runs the same thing and it helps us prepare for our first game.”
The veterans and young players have responded well to working against coach Andrew Sowder’s new up-tempo offense, which they will need all the looks they can before facing a high powered USF offense in week one.
Today, freshman cornerback Cam Smith showed off his improvement and legs despite seven straight days of practice as he made a phenomenal diving catch on a deep pass.
2 – The offense is settling into the new up-tempo approach
Working in a new offense can be difficult, especially one that is faster than the players are accustomed to, but the players have said they have had no problem adjusting.
“I like it, it’s much faster than last year and at a different pace,” wide receiver Rahshead Johnson said.
Practices have certainly been running at a higher pace and intensity than last year, but new offensive coordinator Andrew Sowder likes what he sees out of the offense.
“They got used to what we expect from them in the Spring, but I think we have stepped it up a notch here in the Fall and they have picked it up well,” Sowder said. “They have bought into what we have asked them to do and bought into the culture.”
3 – The quarterback battle is far from over
Working with six different quarterbacks has been good for coaches and not so much on the receivers. The battle for taking the first snap under center on August 26 is in full gear and all six have showed flashes of being someone Brennan can count on.
New quarterbacks coach Ryan Gunderson said he likes what he has seen from all of them and only time will tell at this point.
“I want to see good decision making, I want to see them use the techniques that we have talked about and not make the same mistakes twice,” Gunderson said.
One of the players in the mix is redshirt sophomore Josh Love, has the only in-game experience of the six. He appeared in all 12 of the games last season, including one start, against Iowa State.
“Competition always makes you better in every way and that’s the way I look at it,” Love said. “Every day is a new day and you have to take it one day at a time and get better.”
The Spartans have two more practices this week before a day off on Sunday and only 23 more days until their first game of the season when they welcome South Florida to CEFCU Stadium.