So here's the defensive situation for San Diego State: last year's 21st-ranked run defense appears to have gotten even better this year, and last year's 93rd-ranked pass defense appears to have gotten a little worse with the loss of two big-time safeties in Nat Berhe and Eric Pinkins.
Aztec fans have been hit with some bad news defensively, though, in the last couple weeks: redshirt junior linebacker Jake Fely won't be ready until Week Six and senior linebacker Josh Gavert not set to return from his injury until Week Four.
New names have a chance to step up in the veterans' absence, names like redshirt-freshman Fred Melifonwu. Melifonwu has had a great offseason and will most likely start Week One as SDSU's strong-side linebacker.
So will SDSU's Defensive Player of the Year be a potential-new star like Melifonwu? Or will it be a veteran poised for a big year like senior cornerback J.J. Whittaker? Here's what our SDSU staff thinks.
1. CB J.J. Whittaker - 5 votes
2. LB Jake Fely - 3 votes
3. LB Derek Largent - 1 vote
And here's who voted for each player.
|Matthew Bain||J.J. Whittaker|
|Patrick Carr||Jake Fely|
|Matt Hoffman||J.J. Whittaker|
|Matthew Patterson||Jake Fely|
|Ryan Posner||Jake Fely|
|Rafael Avitabile||J.J. Whittaker|
|Anthony Reclusado||J.J. Whittaker|
|Zachary Loper||J.J. Whittaker|