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Otten's Versatility Helps Spark Spartan Resurgence

Ex-Del Oro Standout Aids San Jose State's 3-1 Start
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Services
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At six-foot six-inches tall and 240 pounds, Ryan Otten more than fits the mold of the new prototype football tight ends that are currently in vogue with college and NFL offenses. Now, in his senior season at San Jose State, Otten’s tight end role is ever expanding as part of a resurgence of Spartan football under third-year head coach Mike MacIntyre. “It’s exiting down here right now,” said Otten a 2008 Del Oro graduate. “We’ve improved every season since coach MacIntrye arrived here. We just want to keep it going.” Otten played a key role for the Spartans in last week’s 38-34 win at San Diego State. Lining up tight, outside, in the slot and in the backfield, Otten caught five passes for 84 yards. Otten snared a pivotal 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback David Fales in the fourth quarter and had clutch receptions for 13 and 16 yards in San Jose State’s final game winning drive. “That was a big win for us,” said Otten whose Spartans dropped a tight 20-17 decision to No. 8 ranked Stanford in their opener before coming back with victories over UC Davis (45-13), Colorado State (40-20)and Saturday’s win over the Aztecs. The victory improved San Jose State’s season record to 3-1. This Saturday when the Spartans travel to Annapolis, Md. to take on Navy, they have a shot to become the first San Jose State team to win four games in the month of September. “That would be awesome,” said Otten. “We have a lot of tough games left but we’re just focusing on Navy right now.” Otten, who is on both the John Mackey Award and Senior Bowl watch-lists for 2012, has 12 catches thus far in 2012 for 191 yards and one score. A year ago, he had 52 catches for 739 yards and five touchdowns. His 67.2 yards per game average was one of the top marks in the nation for tight ends. “Ryan’s versatility really makes him valuable for us,” said San Jose St. tight ends coach Klayton Adams. “He’s a hard match-up for defenses and more importantly, he’s improving every day especially in the run blocking part of our scheme.” A business major who will graduate in December, as his collegiate career starts to wind down Otten isn’t overly thinking about the possibility of perhaps playing on Sundays. “A lot of that attention comes with being on successful teams and so forth,” said Otten. “Right now we’re just focusing on the WAC (Western Athletic Conference) and from there we’ll see what happens.”