SAN JOSE -- San Jose State looked to fill some immediate needs with the signing class it announced on Wednesday.
The Spartans went heavy on linemen and also leaned on junior college players to fill their most pressing holes.
"You don't want to build a roster on junior college players, but I think you can address certain needs," San Jose State coach Ron Caragher said.
Filling holes at tight end and on the offensive and defensive lines were Caragher's main concerns, and that's obvious in his first recruiting class with the Spartans. Eleven of the 15 players who signed Wednesday are at those positions.
Some signees had spots open up when several players de-committed and went to other programs. That includes Valley Christian running back/defensive back Ryan Severson and Bellarmine College Prep linebacker Kenneth Olugbode, both of whom followed former SJSU coach Mike MacIntyre to Colorado. Another target, Oak Grove cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, also chose Colorado.
The final list includes a name that hadn't previously emerged in tight end Ryan Ena, who will enter as a sophomore after transferring from Palomar College. An all-state tight end at the JC level, the one-time Idaho commit caught 43 passes for 570 yards and six touchdowns.
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Ena is a former basketball player who played wide receiver, defensive line, safety and linebacker in high school. The Spartans are looking to replace the production of Ryan Otten, who graduates as the school's all-time leading receiver among tight ends.
"You see a lot of great tight ends around who have basketball backgrounds and we're anticipating that Ryan will come along in that manner," Caragher said of Ena.
At defensive end, the Spartans brought in San Jose City College transfer Adrian Blake, a 6-3, 255-pound native of Jamaica who went to high school in Miami. He joins the already-signed Garrett Guanella from Santa Rosa JC.
The duo will look to fit in as San Jose State transitions from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 look.
The Spartans looked to add size on the line with five high school defensive linemen who all range in height from 6-3 to 6-5, with weight ranges of 235-255. Those frames should provide room to add bulk.
"My philosophy is set the tone in the trenches. I want a physical football team," Caragher said.
SJSU also signed three new offensive lineman. A.J. Samataua (6-3, 295) and Keoni Taylor (6-3, 280) possess good frames for interior linemen, while Deano Motes (6-5, 250) will look to fill out to grow into a tackle prospect.
Dipping into connections at The King's Academy -- the alma mater of SJSU's all-time sack leader, Travis Johnson -- the Spartans signed 6-7, 275-pound Nate Velichko, another lineman who could go on either the offensive or defensive side.
Perhaps the two most talented signees are Tyler Winston and Brandon Monroe.
Winston is a three-star safety prospect who comes to SJSU enticed by the prospect of playing wide receiver in the Spartans' prostyle offense.
"He was excited about the opportunity to come in and play in that system," Caragher said.
Monroe, a two-time 1,500-yard rusher for Del Oro High-Loomis, will play defense at SJSU as a safety. He was a first-team all-state multipurpose selection by Cal-Hi Sports who had six sacks and returned two interceptions for touchdowns.
"He runs with power and he makes people miss, but I think what would get him on the field the quickest is the safety position," Caragher said.
The Spartans, who enter the year with a senior at quarterback in David Fales, did not sign anybody at that position after losing commit Darrel Garretson to Utah State. Caragher, a former UCLA quarterback, said he was happy with the team's current depth and preferred to dedicate time to find the right fit in next year's class rather than scrambling to sign one this year.
Behind Fales, SJSU has sophomore Joe Gray and junior Blake Jurich.
"I think we're in good shape for the 2013 season," Caragher said. "I felt having a year to evaluate (was better), rather than a short window to get someone just to gets someone."
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SJSU's overall ranking among 124 FBS recruiting classes, according to scout.com. But 11 of 12 Mountain West Conference schools were in the lower half of the rankings, with Boise State (43) the exception.