Replacing Chad Young, now with the New York Jets, is a tall order, but fortunately for the Aztecs they have a highly capable heir-apparent in senior Adam Roberts.
Roberts (#44) is a 6'3" 235-pound fullback who played his high school football at Coronado High in El Paso, Texas. He honed his skills there as a tight end and caught the interest of several D1 schools, but chose San Diego State. As an Aztec, he has gone back and forth between the tight end spot and fullback, but will be locked into the starting fullback role heading into his final season. In the 36 games he has played, he has started in 21 of them. He caught 20 balls last season for 217 yards, primarily as a tight end.
Roberts is considered by most to be a really good blocker, and an excellent receiver for the fullback position. It is very likely that the Aztecs will have plays specifically designed for Roberts due his sure-handedness. Last season, Chad Young ran the ball 22 times averaging over 5 yards a carry, and scored 3 times. One can easily see Roberts picking up much of that void.
One of the big questions is who will Roberts be blocking for aside from Donnell Pumphrey. It's still too early in the fall camp to know that for sure, but it will be critical for Roberts to be on the same page with his RBs the same way Young was with Adam Muema and Pumphrey. Robert Craighead (junior) and Daniel Bruskill (sophomore) are the leading candidates to replace Roberts at the tight end position.
Others to watch:
Dakota Gordon is a walk on who transferred from Fresno City College and joined San Diego State this spring. He received 2013 North Valley all-conference honors as a running back/fullback combo last year by running for 243 yards and 6.6 yards per carry. Coach Long seems to like him, saying Gordon was like the second coming of Chad Young at this week's practice.
The other fullbacks in the mix are junior Chris Hokokian and redshirt freshman Parker Wells.
The Aztecs should not be worried about the fullback position. Roberts will be more than capable and will bring the added benefit of being able to catch some passes, and could be a solid first or last check down for QB Quinn Kaehler.