By JONATHAN BAGLEY
Junior Brian Vye (6-1, 190) was a freshman at BYU in 1995, but departed for LSU unhappy with his position on the depth chart. After a stint at Galveston College, Vye begins his college quarterbacking career at his fourth school.
“Brian Vye can take a hit. He takes criticism well,” said Spartan head coach Dave Baldwin.
“What I like is that he does not have a favorite receiver. He moves the ball around,” Baldwin said.
Ralph Martini switched from BYU to San Jose State in 1988 and ended up leading the Spartans to the Big West crown, finishing with a 9-2-1 record.
Like so many WAC coaches in 1997, Baldwin is a newcomer, returning to San Jose after working there as an assistant in the early ’80’s.
“I want to create a winning atmosphere,” Baldwin said.
San Jose State has the offense to play smashmouth football, with an offensive line that averages nearly 300 pounds and a 230 pound running back. But Baldwin is opting for the “fast break on turf.” The fast break type offense will feature four wide outs and a lone running back.
The 230 pound lone running back is James Hodgins. Baldwin refers to him as the Spartan back because he can lineup in the backfield, play tight end, or fullback.
Baldwin said the offense will try to exploit mismatches downfield.
“Each receiver is to catch 50 passes,” Baldwin said. “Speed wins games when you can isolate outside.”
The Spartans best receiver is Windrell Hayes, who won second-team All-WAC honors in 1996. Hayes caught 58 passes last season.
San Jose handed out six scholarships to its offensive line corps, but managed to land size. The mainstay in the trenches is center Harry Daniels (6-1, 290) who started 12 games last season.
The guards are Oscar Garza (6-0, 292) and Curtice Macfarlane (6-4, 277). Inside the line will be newly converted tackle David Loverne (6-2, 283). All are returning starters.
Baldwin wants to combine his speed with strength. San Jose State had not had a strength coach in the past, so Baldwin hired a strength coach in the off-season to beef up his players in the spring. The Spartans began workouts in the weightroom at 6:00 a.m. every day.
With the offense intact, San Jose can concentrate on rebuilding a defense that ranked No. 110 in the nation last year.
“Where can you go?” Baldwin said. “San Jose did not tackle last year, but the WAC gets the credit. (The WAC) has a lot of offensive power and Air Force throws a different offense at you.”