Spartans early to rise
for new coach Tomey
This is the seventh in a series of 12 articles on Hawaii's opponents for the 2005 football season. Tomorrow: Fresno State.
The motto is, "It's a New Day in San Jose."
That's fitting, since first-year Spartans coach Dick Tomey has his players up with the sun, practicing in the morning.
Most of the Spartans say they like it, but they've been buying into everything Tomey says since he replaced Fitz Hill in the offseason. They are up for changes of pretty much any kind after four losing seasons under Hill.
One of the raps on San Jose State in recent years is it has talent, but little results to show for it. Tomey aims to change that.
"You want your program to be known for the things that are not God-given," he said. "You want to be known for the things that are achieved through hard work and passion and perseverance, being physical and tough and impossible to discourage."
A total of 14 starters are back. There's a solid core of seven on defense, and Tomey's teams at Hawaii and Arizona were always built around defense. Tackle Kinji Green (6-feet-2, 275 pounds) is one of the WAC's best, as is safety Josh Powell (6-3, 202).
Cornerback Trestin George (5-9, 178) is among the league's most exciting players; the former tailback has scored touchdowns five different ways, and a sixth (fumble return) was called back because of a penalty. Look for Tomey -- a special teams and trick-play aficionado -- to find interesting ways to employ George's talents.
Tomey's reputation on offense is to play close to the vest, but the Spartans have their three top receivers -- Rufus Skillern, John Broussard and James Jones, plus tight end Bryan Watje -- all back in the fold. The quarterback is likely to be 6-foot-1, 219-pound sophomore Adam Tafralis.
Running backs Yonus Davis, Al Guidry and Patrick Perry will carry the load. Of the three, only Davis carried the ball for the Spartans last year, three times for -4 yards. Diminutive senior Lamar Ferguson has experience, but only recently returned to duty after an academic problem.
Huge bookend tackles William Obeng and Osmar Staples are done, but center Matt Cantu (6-3, 290) is back to lead the offensive line.
San Jose State's staff has many Hawaii connections now, but, interestingly, only one from when Tomey coached at Manoa from 1977 to 1986. Ken Margerum, Tom Williams and Brent Brennan coached here post-Tomey, and Radford graduate Joe Seumalo played for UH during Tomey's last two years and Bob Wagner's first two.
San Jose State Spartans
Multiple pro set
2-9 (1-7 WAC)
Dick Tomey (158-110-7, 0-0 at SJSU)
||L, 56-49 (2OT)
||at San Diego State
||at Utah State
||at Boise State
||at Louisiana Tech
||at Fresno State
||New Mexico State