After concluding the 2016 football season with a stellar defensive effort in a 16-13 road win at Fresno State, San Jose State University changed coaching staffs.
New defensive coordinator Derrick Odum installed a 3-4 base alignment for the Spartans to learn this spring and he is optimistic about the defense's progress at the start of fall camp.
"We're way far ahead from when we ended spring practice. The guys have really worked hard this summer to get themselves ready and it is showing out here today," says Odum after the second day of fall practice. "I'm pleased where we are at, but we still have a long way to go. We still have a lot of install left, but, at this point, it's pretty good."
On the opposite side of the ball, junior Justin Holmes is one of the veterans returning in a wide receiver contingent that gained valuable playing experience a year ago. Holmes, Tre Hartley, Rahshead Johnson, Thai Cottrell and Bailey Gaither had their moments. With the move to a spread offense, San Jose State fans hope those moments increase in frequency.
"We're making progress. We have a lot of new guys. It's a new offense for all of us. We're getting acclimated with the offense," says Holmes believes he is a much-improved player from his first day as a Spartan in 2014.
"It's completely different," Holmes says about the new offensive scheme. "We have great receivers. Now, we'll be able to utilize them, having four receivers on the field."
The Spartans conclude their first weekend of fall practice with a July 30, 9:00 a.m. practice session on the team's practice field. The practice is open to the public.
Season tickets for the 2017 San Jose State University football season are available by calling (408) 924-SJTX or by visiting www.sjsuspartans.com/tickets. The three-game mini-plan is available at bit.ly/17sjsuminiplan