San Diego State began its 2013 football camp last week with on campus practices closed to the public. The Aztecs return seven starters on offense and nine on defense, and is expected to contend for the Mountain West Division title in 2013. However, they are currently ranked second in the west behind Fresno State according to the Mountain West preseason media poll.
There are a few outstanding questions that the Aztecs need to answer in fall camp. The Aztecs lost almost 50 percent of receiving production from last season due to graduation. The Aztecs top targets for the upcoming season is Colin Lockett, Ezell Ruffin, Tim Vizzi and Dylan Denso listed as the Aztecs' top receivers, but now they need to prove themselves in camp. The unknown at camp is true Freshman Christian Cumberlander, a freshman who's had an extra year to develop at Jireh Prep (N.C.). The 6-foot-3, 205 pound Cumberlander signed with SDSU over offers from Auburn and Oregon can be a difference maker.
Secondly, how strong is the Aztec Offence line? The Aztecs return left tackle Bryce Quigley and left guard Japheth Gordon, but the center position and the right side of the line could be suspect? Right now, Jordan Smith center and Zack Dilley right tackle are the number ones on the depth chart. All Aztec backups are all inexperienced. Redshirt freshman Nico Siragusa is young and will have some growing pains. But if he stays healthy and progresses as expected, he should be the starting right guard on against Eastern Illinois, and for years to come. Adam Muema has the tailback job locked up!
Next, what about the Aztec cornerbacks? who is going to replace Leon McFadden and Josh Wade? J.J. Whittaker and King Holder should be the frontrunners at fall camp. And they will also take a long, hard look at freshmen Kalan Montgomery and Billy Vaughn Jr. There are even conversations about rotating corner backs based on the situations.
Lastly is Adam Dingwell the Aztecs starting quarterback, he's the most experienced quarterback on the Aztecs' roster, and earned respect after replacing an injured Ryan Katz midway through 2012 and led the Aztecs to a 4-1 record in the final third of the season. Dingwell will need to improve his reads, throws and completion percentage. The Aztecs were reluctant to pick a backup but have anointed junior college transfer Quinn Kaehler from Diablo Valley College as the No. 2 quarterback going into fall camp.
The quarterback is Dingwell's job to loss this falls. But I expect him to start the season opener.
According to the San Diego Tribune writer Stephanie Loh, the Aztecs depth chart is as follows:
C: Jordan Smith (So), Lenicio Noble (Jr), Austin Maass (RFr)
WR-X: Colin Lockett (Sr), Tim Vizzi (Sr), Eric Judge (RFr)
WR-Z: Ezell Ruffin (Jr), Dylan Denso (Sr), Lloyd Mills (RFr)
PK: Wes Feer (Sr), Seamus McMorrow (So)
KO: Wes Feer (Sr), Seamus McMorrow (So)
H: Dylan Denso (Sr)
LS: Jeff Overbaugh (So)
KR: Colin Lockett (Sr), Tim Vizzi (Sr)
PR: Tim Vizzi (Sr), Rene Siluano (Sr)