San Jose State football gears up for home opener Thursday night

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By Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose State football is just around the corner. This means year three is likely going to be a crucial season for head coach Brent Brennan. If the third time isn’t the charm, the athletic directors, media and fans aren’t going to be as tolerant. It’s a decent season or bust.

SJSU has geared up for its football home opener vs. Northern Colorado, and yes, this includes the first press conference of the 2019 season. Check out my Q&A with Brennan in CECFU Stadium on Monday afternoon.

1. There’s a solid set of tight ends that will try to fill in the place left by Josh Oliver. Who do you think will stand out in the set?
That’s going to be interesting to watch. I think all those guys have a real place to contribute. It’s exciting to see Brett Foley who’s a guy, a local kid who played down the street at Mitty (Archbishop Mitty High School) as a high school quarterback and a linebacker when I first got him. We moved him to tight end and he’s starting to make a move last fall playing a little bit of tight end into some nice stuff. He really had an outstanding camp. Billy Humphreys has played a lot of football here. He’s a big body. He can run, he can catch, he can block. So he’s got a contribution to make. I think Derrick Deese, Jr. will be fun because he’s a great route runner and pass catcher. He does a nice job at the line of scrimmage for someone who is a converted wide receiver. The young guy, Dominick Mazzotti, has done some really good stuff in camp. So that’s a position group that we feel strongly about. Coach (Matt) Adkins did a fantastic job coaching them and coach (Kevin) McGiven has demonstrated when we have a tight end that can be effective, we’ll find a way to give them the ball like we did a year ago. So now we got three and four — if you count the freshmen — and I think you’ll see a contribution from all of them game-by-game.

2. What was the reason behind your creative playcalling late last season and will you continue to turn heads with such playcalling this season?
I think we’ll continue to be aggressive at what we do in terms of our playcalling. I think it’s really important that our players know we believe in them and believe they can execute at a high level and that we can call anything in the playbook and believe that we’ll get it done. I think that being in our second year of our scheme gives us a better chance to execute some of that stuff and I think Coach McGiven is doing a great job just kind of mixing up how we’re attacking people. Right now, we’re just going head-to-head with our defense, but I’m excited to see that play out on Thursday night.

3. What’s the status of the competition between Jay Lenard and Stan Livingstone Jr. for the free safety spot?
I think Jay Lenard over time has established himself as one of our better players on defense so Jay is ready to play. He looks great, he had a great offseason and summer. I feel really good about our defense, especially those two safeties. Tre Webb is definitely one of our leaders. Both those guys are now starters for two years, played a lot of football, so I’m excited to see them play on Thursday night.

Follow Ana Kieu on Twitter @AnaKieu.

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