WR Kendrick Starling

2002 Statistics

Coach: Fitz Hill
9-16, 2 years
2002 Record: 6-7
at Arkansas State WON 33-14
at Washington LOST 10-34
at Stanford LOST 21-63
at Illinois WON 38-35
UTEP WON 58-24
at SMU WON 34-23
at Ohio State LOST 7-50
at Nevada LOST 24-52
at Hawaii LOST 31-40
at Tulsa WON 49-38

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

Head coach Fitz Hill is headed into his third year with the team, and the Arkansas native is moving the team in the right direction. The Spartans are getting closer to the 85-scholarship limit, improving their depth and talent level to Division I levels after a prolonged down period. By signing 19 scholarship freshmen for the upcoming season, Hill has San Jose State moving away from the two-year junior college transfer cycle, a necessity for building a program to sustainable excellence.

After a 3-9 first season, Hill led the team to bowl contention last season with a 6-7 overall record. The Spartans were 4-4 in WAC action and are one of the conference's rising programs.

Grambling State should provide a nice warm-up game to start the season before tough matchups against Florida and Stanford. Winning either of those games is unlikely, although the Spartans do have a history of success against Stanford. Five of their eight WAC games will be at home, but the Spartans are probably a year or two away from contending for a conference title. The WAC is one of the hardest conferences to predict from year to year, but a victory over either Fresno State or Hawaii would be benchmarks for the Spartans' advancement.

Another season at or near the .500 mark would be considered a success, and a winning record and/or a bowl bid would be nothing short of remarkable considering where the program was three years ago when Hill arrived.

Projected 2003 record: 3-9
DB Gerald Jones
QB - 4 DL - 2
RB - 1.5 LB - 2
WR - 3 DB - 2
OL - 2.5 ..

Passing: Scott Rislov, 449-275-14, 3251 yds., 22 TD

Rushing: Lamar Ferguson, 128 att., 634 yds., 8 TD

Receiving: Jamall Broussard, 62 rec., 681 yds., 5 TD

Scoring: Lamar Ferguson, 8 TD, 48 pts.

Punting: Bryce Partridge, 1 punt, 40.0 avg.

Kicking: none

Tackles: Josh Powell, 86 tot., 42 solo; Gerald Jones, 86 tot., 60 solo

Sacks: Philip Perry, 7 sacks

Interceptions: Gerald Jones, 8 for 116 yds.

Kickoff returns: Kendrick Starling, 16 ret., 18.4 avg.

Punt returns: Philip Perry, 1 ret., 22.0 avg.


OFFENSE: Marcus Helfman-TE, Tim Provost-OT, Charles Pauley-WR, Nick Gilliam-K
DEFENSE: Chip Kimmich-DE, Luke La Herran-LB, C.J. Arnold-FS, Brian Foreman-LB, Michael Carr-P

written by Jared Green

The Spartans offense begins with senior quarterback Scott Rislov. In his first season with the team after a year at North Dakota and a year at Ellsworth College in Idaho, Rislov set five school passing records. He was 24th in the nation in total offense and 30th in passing efficiency, and threw 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Rislov's most impressive performance came against eventual national champion Ohio State. Although the Spartans lost the game, Rislov completed 36 of his 44 passes, a school-record 81.8 completion percentage. The 6-1, 214-pound signal-caller set school season records for pass attempts (415), completions (243) and passing yards (3,251). With three of his top four receivers back, Rislov could put up even more impressive numbers as the passing game is emphasized. The backup, Beau Pierce, is untested.

Rislov will be throwing to a battle-tested group of wide receivers, a necessity in the high-scoring WAC. Jamall Broussard led the team with 62 catches last season for 681 yards and 5 touchdowns. Broussard, who played a season at Texas Tech before transferring to SJSU, is small (5-9) but durable and is fearless going over the middle. Broussard's younger brother, John, will be a freshman on the squad. Another Texan, Kendrick Starling, had 49 receptions for 603 yards and 5 scores last season. Starling should be a big-play threat this season as he gets a chance at full-time action.

Tuati Wooden (35, 539, 2) should take over the third receiver role. Other candidates include Rufus Skillern, James Jones and Clarence Cunningham.

Tight end is a blank spot for the Spartans. Courtney Anderson is the most impressive returnee, but newcomer Leon Pinky, a former Tennessee signee, will push hard for the starting spot.

The Spartans have four returning starters on the offensive line, a good sign for Rislov's health. Guards Justin Arrington and Joseph Hayes will flank center LaMons Walker, while Jeff Gordon will man the left tackle spot. Hayes has been named as one of 36 players on the Outland Trophy watch list. The battle on the line will be to replace Tim Provost, an NFL draftee, at right tackle. Kevin Israel had three starts at guard last season, while Reggie Candler and Osmar Staples both were tackle reserves.

The Spartans averaged just 112 yards per game on the ground last season as they moved more in line with the other high-flyers in the WAC. San Jose State is apparently the official refuge for miniature tailbacks. With 5-6 Deonce Whitaker moved on the Canadian Football League, 5-5 Lamar Ferguson took over as the main ball-carrier. Ferguson was productive, with a team-high 634 yards and 8 touchdowns, but ended the season with a knee injury that kept him out of spring practice.

The job is wide open going into the fall, with Lance Martin and Damarcus Ingram looking to take over. Both were excellent in limited action, with Martin carrying 41 times for 6.1 yards per carry and Ingram 36 times for 5.8 yards per carry. Martin and Ingram are both considerably bigger than Ferguson, so a situational rotation is a possibility. The team's emphasis on the passing game means the backs are less likely to pile up yardage. If the Spartans need a true power back, fullback Ezekiel Staples is capable of moving to tailback for occasional duty.


QB Scott Rislov


Returning Starters in bold
QB Scott Rislov-Sr Beau Pierce-Jr
TB Tyson Thompson-Jr Damarcus Ingram-Sr / Lamar Ferguson-Jr
WR Kendrick Starling-Sr Clarence Cunningham-Jr
WR Tuati Wooden-Sr Casey Miranda-Jr
WR Jamall Broussard-Sr Rufus Skillern-So
TE Courtney Anderson-Sr Leon Pinky-Jr
OT Joseph Hayes-Sr Reggie Candler-Sr
OG Kevin Israel-Sr Mark Manning-So
C LaMons Walker-Sr Matt Cantu-Fr
OG Justin Arrington-Sr Eric Olson-Jr
OT Jeff Gordon-Sr Osmar Staples-Jr
K Jeff Ferrier-Jr ..



written by Jared Green

While the SJSU offense isn't likely to change much, the defense needs a major overhaul. Last season's high-risk, high-reward style resulted in 38 turnovers, fourth in the nation, but the rewards didn't outweigh the risks. The Spartans surrendered nearly 500 yards per game, 115th in Division I, including 192.9 rushing yards per game. Opponents scored at least 30 points in nine of their 13 games, unimpressive even in the all-offense WAC.

One spot that doesn't need a change is defensive end Phillip Perry. Perry led the team with 7 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss, and he also forced 7 fumbles, seventh in the nation. A former linebacker, the 6-2, 254-pound Perry is an edge rusher who should command double-teams from most opponents. That should allow the tackles to concentrate on stopping the run. Steve Nash returns at one interior spot, while the other will be a battle among five candidates, so depth shouldn't be a problem. The other end will likely be a rotation with Tony Ficklin, another former linebacker, and JUCO transfers Michael Hodges and Andrew PaoPao competing for time.

Onyeka Ossai and Paul Okumu are returning starters at linebacker. Ossai is undersized (217 pounds), while Okumu will play in the middle after being granted a rare sixth year of eligibility. Michael Smith and Mike Liranzo were backups last season and are the leading candidates for the third starting position, but sophomore Jemonte Cox is making a push after being a standout on special teams last year. Oscar Rigg is a wildcard after playing tailback last season.

Another former running back, sophomore Trestin George, could be the key to the Spartan secondary. George split time between offense and defense last season but will play exclusively at cornerback this year, and he has the potential to be a shutdown corner. Melvin Cook, the only returning starter at the position, was moved to safety during spring practice, so both spots are wide open. Assuming George claims one of them and Cook stays at safety, Malcolm Thompson and Quincy Washington will compete for the other. Jerrell Hardy, a JUCO transfer, could also be in the mix.

Unlike the cornerbacks, the safeties are set. Gerald Jones was outstanding last season, leading the team with 8 interceptions and recording 86 tackles. Josh Powell had the same number of tackles, so the run support from the secondary should be sufficient. Cook's move is hard to understand with both starters returning, unless the Spartans are counting on him as an oft-used nickel back.


DE Philip Perry


Returning Starters in bold
DE Tony Ficklin-Jr Michael Hodges-Jr
DT Kinji Green-So Steve Nash-Sr
DT Larnell Ransom-So Jason Gustus-Jr
DE Philip Perry-Sr Sean McNamara-Jr
LB Onyeka Ossai-Sr Mike Liranzo-Jr
LB Paul Okumu-Sr Michael Smith-Sr
CB Trestin George-So Jerrell Hardy-Jr
CB Malcolm Thompson-So Quincy Washington-Sr
S Josh Powell-Jr Zack Rance-Sr
S Eric Wilson-Jr Melvin Cook-Sr
S Gerald Jones-Sr Brian Nunez-So
P Bryce Partridge-Sr ..




Both kicking positions will welcome new starters. Freshman Jeff Ferrier is the only kicker on the roster, so the job appears to be his no matter how he performs. The punter will be either senior Bryce Partridge or junior Jeff Carr. Carr's brother, Michael, was the punter for the last three seasons. Kendrick Starling and Clarence Cunningham should return kickoffs, while the punt return spot is wide open.