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San Diego State Football: 8/14 fall camp update

In the wake of Fox Sports San Diego's announcement of its newest show, "Aztec Football with Rocky Long", Coach Long shares insight on the potential of SDSU's T.V. value.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

San Diego State's roster has shuffled a bit with the release of the latest depth chart. Rimington Trophy watch list member Jordan Smith has been demoted to third-string center and Zach Dilley has earned the top spot on the depth chart. And some bad news, Aztec fans: it looks like redshirt junior linebacker Jake Fely will return to action in Week Six instead of Week Three like SDSU originally thought.

But with the team stringing together solid practices, the clouds from mediocre practices of last week have lifted. With recent developments involving the program, the focus has shifted back to the Aztecs' development going forward.

On Tuesday, FOX Sports San Diego announced its newest show "Aztec Football with Rocky Long" which will profile Rocky Long and the Aztecs every Thursday during the 2014 football season. The show will not only give fans an inside look at the program, but it will dramatically improve the program's television value and continue the upward trend of interest in SDSU sports as a whole.

"I think we have an ability here to make us very attractive to those other leagues," Long said. "If we can stay competitive, and we can show a continual increase in our attendance ... I think we're very attractive because of the 3 million people with T.V sets in this town."

With the recent success of the program, an insider show like this can take advantage of the heightened interest from fans around the county, which will put more fans in the seats and make the program more money. More money equals more program value. More program value means--I'll let you Aztec football fans read between the lines on this one.

Much has been made of Rocky long's safety concerns throughout the first week and a half of camp, but Long believes that the growing pains will subside, and that the current safety group will be better than it was last year.

"I think we're going to be better at safety mid-season than we were at the beginning of last year," Long said. "I think we've got better athletes--but they haven't played. There's guys chasing guys to the flat when they've got the deep third."

At this point, Long has no option but to have faith in his group and let the inexperience take care of itself. He gave them credit for their effort, knowing how tough the transition is at that position. A lot of times, a safety's main assignment in high school is "to hit the guy with the ball." Now they have schemes and sets, and their assignments change based on a variety of factors.

Transfer sophomore Na'im McGee understands the process of improvement through repetition, and doesn't feel any added pressure given that he his group is the "weak spot" of the defense.

"Its definitely motivation," McGee said. "We all want to do good for our team, and just step up and be a huge part of this defense."

From the beginning of camp, Long has said that the Aztecs are good at wide receiver, but with the loss of Colin Locket to the Cincinnati Bengals, senior Ezell Ruffin is the only one of the group with considerable playing time. So what is it about this group that makes Long so confident?

"I think there's really good speed and size, its just a matter of them getting live reps," Long said. "They're kind of like our safeties, they're going to have to get better as the season goes along and they cant be bad at the start or we'll be embarrassed. I really believe that by mid-season we'll have four really good receivers out there."

At this point through fall camp, Long says that the team is at about the same place they were compared to last season. The Aztecs will start preparing for NAU 10 days out from the opening game.

**A pair of freshman, red shirt running back Marcus Stamps defensive end Noble Hall tweaked their ankles in Tuesday evening's practice. Both injuries are not serious and the two Aztecs were held out of Thursday's practice for precautionary reasons.

**Senior middle linebacker Derek Largent practiced partially on Thursday and is still nursing a hamstring injury from last week and redshirt-freshman linebacker David McCutchan is back playing full speed after suffering a concussion.

**Junior safety Stan Sedberry is still out of practice due to a concussion he suffered early last week and there is no timetable for his return.