SAN JOSE -- San Jose State landed a defensive lineman on Wednesday who looks capable of providing an immediate impact.

De Anza College's Victor Vernon was the surprise of the day when he signed with the Spartans, and the 6-foot-3, 275-pounder might be the most highly-touted of SJSU's 20 recruits. He held offers from Cal, Texas, Oregon State, Cincinnati, Kansas and Utah State, according to Scout.com.

"We may have to widen some doorjambs in this building, because when he walks in, he does fill up the doorway," SJSU coach Ron Caragher said.

The Chicago native signed with Indiana State out of high school in 2011 before coming to De Anza for two seasons. He's a physical specimen that showcases strength and quickness and should immediately contend for a starting job on the Spartans' defensive line at either the end or tackle position.

"You think back to some of our games this year, we needed to be a little more stout, a little more physical," Caragher said. "I think Victor's a quick answer for that. He's going to help beef up the front four on defense."

Vernon was the kicker to a class that, by at least one measurement, ranked among the best in the Mountain West Conference. Scout.com credits SJSU with nine three-star recruits, and the average star rating of its class is tied with Boise State for No. 1 in the conference. Scout ranks the Spartans' class No. 3 in the Mountain West behind San Diego State and Boise State.

"You really don't know until down the road," Caragher said of the ranking. "If it generates excitement and enthusiasm, then I'm all for it, and I think our fans should be."

Caragher praised the loyalty of the players who signed despite the fact that "some universities came after them the last weekend and tried to throw the bling factor at them."

There was at least one veiled reference to Vanderbilt's recruitment of former SJSU commit Charles Wright, an Inglewood linebacker who visited the SEC school last weekend and chose to join former Spartans defensive coordinator Kenwick Thompson with the Commodores.

"At the end, sometimes a Pac-12 or an SEC school will come in and try to lure guys in three or four or five days and try to get them to change," Caragher said. "Maybe that happened in one or two cases, but so be it. We'll move on and get better."

The Spartans added two quarterbacks in Contra Costa College transfer Malik Watson and Mission Viejo High's Ian Fieber. Still, the main competition to serve as David Fales' replacement will come from senior Blake Jurich and junior Joe Gray when spring practice begins Feb. 21.

"Those two guys were encouraging enough to give our staff promise for the future," Caragher said of Jurich and Gray. "You'd like to see what they can do. They've invested a lot of time in this program."

The nine three-star recruits match the combined total the Spartans signed the previous four years.

Those players are: cornerback Andre Chachere (6-foot, 175, Fresno), Fieber (6-1, 195), cornerback Nautica Flemming (5-9, 170, Salinas), running back Limihai Hifo (5-11, 225, Romoland), wide receiver Justin Holmes (6-2, 215, Roseville), cornerback Maurice McKnight (6-0, 175, San Bernardino), Vernon, safety David Williams (6-1, 200, Los Angeles) and offensive lineman Kyle Wright (6-7, 300, Alta Loma).

McKnight is rated by Scout.com as the nation's No. 49 cornerback recruit. He graduated from high school early and is already enrolled. He will participate in spring practice, making him a prime candidate to compete for a starting job in the Spartans' defensive backfield.

Also joining the class is Washington transfer Cleveland Wallace, a sophomore who went to high school at Oak Grove before spending two years in Seattle. There's a chance he could be granted a waiver to be immediately eligible as Caragher mentioned that "family reasons" led to his transfer back to his hometown.

Follow Jimmy Durkin on Twitter at twitter.com/Jimmy_Durkin.