By Sergio Valencia:
After yet another underperforming year behind them, the San Jose State football team decided it was best to start the process over again by firing coach Ron Caragher.
To take his place, SJSU called upon a former alumni and Redwood City native, Brent Brennan.
The sudden move left the new Spartans coach with little time to put his fingerprint on this years football team due to the NCAA recruiting dead period.
The staff was not in place until the tenth of January so that only gave the coaches two days of evaluating prospects before we can begin recruiting players on the twelfth, said Brennan.
Brennan made it clear that defense was an emphasis for him with this year’s signee class.
“When we looked at our roster we felt like there were a lot of spaces to be filled in the defensive front so that was a huge emphasis for us,” said Brennan.
Last year the Spartans defensive front was a liability, giving up an average of 246.7 yards on the ground ranking 122nd in the country, according to CBS sports.
Brennan and new linebackers coach Bojay Bojay Filimoeatu won big with five of the 23 recruits being linebackers. Justin Parcells, Jamal Scott, Brando Phillips, Tysyn Parker, and Rico Tolefree.
Three of the five recruits are transfers from community college giving the Spartan coaching staff the flexibility to plug these players in and get them on the field faster.
“When you go out and recruit junior college players you’re expecting them to come in and play,” said Brennan “You’re expecting them to come in and make a difference.”
Justin Parcells who is the smallest of the group, listed at 5’11 and 215 pounds is transferring from Fullerton College.
In his one year at Fullerton Parcells was able to rack up 71 tackles 7.5 of those being quarterback sacks and also forcing one fumble, according to Fullerton college athletics page.
“He is a hitter,” Brennan said “There is no question that he is a violent player.”
The second of the two Fullerton transfers is Jamal Scott who is listed at 6’2 and 230 pounds, can play both inside and outside linebacker and has experience playing safety from high school.
In his one year as a Hornet, Scott recorded 49 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and one interception.
Brando Phillips is the biggest of the linebacker class, listed at 6’3 and 240 pounds.
Phillips is a transfer from Butte college, who can play either the end or outside linebacker position.
“You could see him rush the passer,” said Brennan “He can bend around the corner which not everybody can do.”
Tysyn Parker from Serra High school in Gardena CA is currently listed a 6’1 and 215 pounds, and is expected to play outside linebacker for the Spartans.
Parker played all four years of high school on the varsity level accumulating a total of 219 tackles, 9.5 sacks, three interception, and also forced three fumbles, according to Maxpreps.
The second of the two incoming freshmen is Rico Tolefree from De Anza high school in El Sobrante, CA.
Tolefree is listed at 6’1 and 223 pounds and also plays outside linebacker, according to Maxpreps.
Brennan said that these new linebacker additions for the Spartans have one thing in common and that is that they love to run and hit people.
San Jose State will need all the help they can get from these new recruits in order to replace former linebacker and captain Christian Tago who has lead the Spartans in tackles the last two season.