The San Diego State Aztecs' rushing game is as strong as Donnel Pumphrey is expected to frustrate defenses across the conference, but the passing attack has been lacking for multiple seasons. New wide receivers coach Hunkie Cooper has the task of elevating the entire receiving corps into a formidable unit in 2015 without leading receiver Ezell Ruffin. Regardless of who's been at the quarterback position, the 2014 Aztecs were 10th in the Mountain West in passing offense, only beating Air Force and New Mexico. At the wide receiver position there is plenty of competition for the upcoming 2015 season.
Leader: Lloyd Mills, Eric Judge, Mikah Holder
The favorites for the top spots are Lloyd Mills and Eric Judge. Mills was targeted (53) a little bit more than Judge (42) and even saw more targets than Ruffin (44). Mills’ best stat line, four receptions, 42 yards and one touchdown came against Hawaii. While Judge’s best game came out of playing Idaho with a stat line of four receptions, 107 yards and a touchdown. Judge is the speedier of the two and could see a productive year with a healthy change of quarterback, but figure Mills to work harder as he recuperates from a groin injury.
Though the top juniors on the roster are going to be spearheading their way into playing time, it’s sophomore Mikah Holder who has been forcing himself into the conversation this spring. His 2014 saw a stat line of five receptions for 53 yards, but his spring game was impressive catching two balls for 50 yards, leading the receivers in receptions.
Rest of the Pack: Jemond Hazely, Paul Pitts III, Chase Favreau, Christian Cumberlander, Kameron Kelly, Jabril Clewis (RS)
Competition is deep for the rest of the receiving corps. Hazely and Pitts III will enter their senior year with San Diego State, but both Hazely and Pitts have a combined total of 26 games in their careers at San Diego State. Hazely had the more productive 2014 of the two with a stat line of 13 receptions, 173 yards, and one touchdown.
Throw in underclassmen Favreau, Cumberlander, Kelly, and Clewis into the mix and expect the rest of the corps attempting to match their play against the rest. Don't count out the underclassmen because a fresh change at quarterback and coaching staff could motivate a player or two into some more playing time.
Expect: If Mills can stay healthy this spring and summer, he could be the top receiver San Diego State needs. As spring and summer heats up it'll be interesting how much Holder rises to compete. The sophomore Holder has a good chance at further impressing the staff, but don’t count Favreau and Hazely too far behind the favored top wide receivers. When the quarterback picture becomes clearer, San Diego State's receivers will look crisper.