Nevens and Harmon plan to lead by example throughout the year and be available for the many newcomers working their way through the first week of preseason training camp.
A year ago, it looked Nevens might redshirt, but the 6-foot powerhouse from Hacienda Heights, Calif., took advantage of a late September playing opportunity and finished the season as the Spartans' leading rusher with 670 yards. His durability and willingness to maintain the same tempo carry after carry was a big boost to the running game a year ago.
Nevens believes spring practice was a turning point.
"I would say spring ball. I was able to develop my skills, not only as a running back, but as a teammate to motivate others," said Nevens. "I would say this year we are a lot more focused. Last season, we had some ups and downs. The team has come together and all are minds are just on one thing."
"With the vets, we've been practicing really well. The communication has been great. Everyone's been doing their assignment," said Harmon, who enrolled at San Jose State last spring and established himself as one of the team's top linebackers.
"I can see the young guys are really getting after it. They really want it. I'm excited to see when everyone gets together."
Harmon points to new players visiting him after practice asking questions about plays and his willingness to help. Like Nevens, he pointed out how valuable spring practice was for him in terms of acclimating himself to the speed and tempo at the college level.