4. College Football News Preview 2020: San Jose State Spartans Defense 3 Things To Know
– The defense is never going to be a rock, but it has been steadily getting better. The 2017 season – the first under head man Brent Brennan – gave up close to 6,500 yards and got hammered for over 3,700 rushing yards. Last year, the 5,325 yards allowed weren’t great, but the D really was better.
Eight of the top 11 tacklers are back, with the linebacking corps the potential strength despite losing leading tackler Ethan Aguayo. He’s done after making 102 stops, but the trio of Kyle Harmon, Tysyn Parker and Rico Tolefree can all hit. It’s a deep group with plenty of options, but it needs more help from the line.
– The end combination of Cade Hall – who led the team with eight tackles for loss – and 6-4, 233-pound sophomore Viliami Fehoko is a promising young player coming off a 44-tackle season.
Now the line needs an anchor after losing massive Sailosi Latu on the nose. 6-2, 290-pound Lando Grey will give it a shot after coming in from the JUCO ranks and redshirting last season.
– The pass defense was statistically strong – the second-best in the Mountain West – but that’s partly because everyone was busy getting yards in chunks on the ground.
Senior S Jay Lenard is back after finishing second on the team with 95 tackles, and CB Nehemiah Shelton returns after picking off three passes and coming up with a nice first season from the JUCO ranks.
Add in 58-tackle senior Tre Webb at one of the other safety jobs, and Kansas State transfer Kenyon Reed for a corner gig, and the secondary has the base of experience to work around.