2014 San Diego State football recruiting: Were the Aztecs needs met?

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

A look at the new San Diego State class and how they fit in with the current crop of players.

National Signing Day for San Diego State has come and passed. The dust has settled. Twenty-one high school seniors and four young athletes are one big step closer to realizing their dreams. And as SDSU Coach Rocky Long says, all teams look a lot better on paper.

Now that we stand in the wake of signing day, it's time to see how SDSU's class of 2014 meets, or doesn't meet, its needs entering the 2014-2015 season. In this update I rank SDSU's position according to need, from least need to most need, and look at how the Aztecs recruited at that position. I then provide a five-man depth chart prediction for each position. The player's grade levels will be for the 2014 season.

Let's begin, and this list will count up to the most pressing need.

10. Fullback

The Aztecs lose their beloved Chad Young, but they bring back five other fullbacks. They have no need here.

Need met? Yes

Depth chart:

1. Chris Hokokian, Jr.

2. Connor Keith, RS So.

3. Mike Miller, Sr.

4. Andrew Van Voy, So.

5. Parker Wells, So.

9. Tight end

With five young, returning tight ends, SDSU recruited no pure tight ends, and they didn't need to. The Aztecs did get a couple of big, talented athletes on signing day, though. Texas standout Kameron Kelly (6'2", 190 lbs.) could play some tight end if he bulks up this off-season.

Need met? Yes

Depth chart:

1. Adam Roberts, Sr.

2. Robert Craighead, Jr.

3. Aaron Boesch, RS Jr.

4. Daniel Brunskill, RS So.

5. David Wells, So.

8. Linebacker

SDSU lose several linebackers, but return Jake Fely and Josh Gavert. But the Aztecs definitely needed linebackers for the 2015 season. Enter Donavin Buck, Jay Henderson and Devante Davis. Long and company recruited exactly the way they needed to this year.

Need met? Yes

Depth chart:

1. Jake Fely, Sr.

2. Josh Gavert, Sr.

3. Derek Largent, Sr.

4. Donavin Buck, Fr.

5. Calvin Munson, So.

7. Defensive lineman

This unit returns all but one player for from its successful 2013 season. So the equation is simple: Rocky Long loses one lineman, Jordan Thomas; Rocky Long picks up one lineman, Christian Heyward. Schools across the country sought Heyward out of high school in 2011. The Point Loma native surprised Aztec fans when he signed with USC over SDSU. Now he's back, and with his size and skills, he'll fill Jordan's role and start in 2014.

Need met? Yes

Depth chart:

1. Sam Meredith, Sr.

2. Cody Galea, Sr.

3. Christian Heyward, Jr.

4. Alex Barret, RS So.

5. Jon Sanchez, Jr.

6. Defensive back

The Aztecs lose five, key contributors at defensive back. Panic time for an already spotty secondary, right? Well, SDSU returns 14 other defensive backs waiting for their time to play after sitting behind the likes of Nat Berhe and Eric Pinkins. The red-and-black picked up three new defensive backs, including two junior college transfers who have the best chance for playing time.

Need met? Yes

Depth chart:

1. J.J. Whitaker, Sr.

2. King Holder, Jr.

3. Davontae Kazee, So.

4. David Lamar, Sr.

5. Stan Sedberry, Jr.

5. Offensive lineman

The O-linemen began the 2013-2014 season poorly, but really picked it up by the end of the season. The Aztecs lose some of that momentum with the loss of Bryce Quigley and Japheth Gordan, but they also return 14 other linemen. The offensive line is crucial to SDSU more than a lot of teams because the Aztecs rely so heavily on the run. Four new offensive linemen signed with SDSU on signing day: two junior college transfers and two high school seniors. One junior college transfer, Pearce Slater, can expect immediate playing time and will provide an immediate impact. SDSU's three other new linemen are also highly talented and could potentially see some playing time-they will definitely push those linemen around them to play better to win the starting spot.

Need met? Yes

Depth chart:

1. Zach Dilley, Sr.

2. Jordan Smith, Jr.

3. Pearce Slater, Jr.

4. Garrett Corbett, Sr.

5. Nico Siragusa, RS So.

4. Quarterback

SDSU has its quarterback for the 2014-2015 season, Quinn Kaehler. Unfortunately, backup quarterback Adam Dingwell will no longer play football after back surgery. Therefore, Long recruited three quarterbacks to give him five on the roster, his ideal number. These three new quarterbacks look very good: Nick Bawden will soon start, Christian Chapman will challenge him and Brad Odeman will keep the young quarterbacks on their toes. The Aztecs are set for a few years at the quarterback position.

Need met? Yes, and then some.

Depth chart:

1. Quinn Kaehler, Sr.

2. Nick Bawden, Fr.

3. Christian Chapman, Fr.

4. Chase Favreau, So.

5. Brad Odeman, Jr.

3. Wide receiver

SDSU loses three big targets, but brings back its number one receiver, Ezell Ruffin, and a lot of young guns. But the Aztecs definitely needed to pick up some more talented receivers, and that's exactly what they did. Dionte Sykes could compete for immediate playing time in the red zone. These new receivers will make an impact. They may not all play, but they will force improvement through intense competition in practice. SDSU is set at wide receiver; it got REALLY good young talent in the class of 2014 that might not show itself next season, but definitely will by 2015.

Need met? Yes, and then some.

Depth chart:

1. Ezell Ruffin, Sr.

2. Eric Judge, RS So.

3. Larry Clark, Jr,

4. Christian Cumberland, So.

5. Connor Black, RS So.

2. Running back

Aztec star running back Adam Muema will test the waters of the NFL draft, leaving speedster Donnel Pumphrey to take on the starting role. SDSU loves to run a tandem system at running back, so coaches looked to find big, powerful runner to fill Muema's role for the 2014-2015 season. They did-very well. Rashaad Penny, William Walker and Daryl Dunlap will all compete with Dwayne Garrett and Chase Price for that second starting spot. I see Penny getting some playing time and beating out Garrett. Penny comes from Norwalk High in California. Norwalk is known for its power run scheme and Penny thrived there.

Need met? Yes

Depth chart:

1. Donnel Pumphrey, So.

2. Chase Price, Jr.

3. Rashaad Penny, Fr.

4. Dwayne Garrett, Jr.

5. William Walker, Fr.

1. Kicker/special teams

Fifty percent. That's good in baseball. That's not good as a field goal percentage-that's what SDSU kickers kicked in 2013-2014. SDSU recruiters made a big push to get some talent to compete this offseason. They wound up getting two kickers: one with a cannon and one with a precision leg. These two, John Baron II and Donny Hageman, will compete all off-season with Seamus McMorrow for the starting job. Aztec fans hope that their starting kicker will remain their starting kicker for the entire season.

Need met? Yes (SDSU fans, you can breathe a sigh of relief...for now. We'll see when the season starts)

Depth chart:

1. John Baron II, Fr.

2. Seamus McMorrow, Jr.

3. Donny Hageman, Fr.

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