San Diego State has lost 23 seniors from their successful championship team. A dozen or so were starters, and this will definitely change things for the Aztecs going into 2017. Head coach Rocky Long has no intentions of losing momentum and considers this spring “crucial.”
Among others, SDSU lost NCAA all-time leading running back Donnel Pumphrey and cornerback Damontae Kazee- the Mountain West’s Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year respectively, and standout linebacker Calvin Munson. San Diego State also loses offensive linemen Kwayde Miller, Nico Siragusa, Daniel Bruskill, and Arthur Flores. Right guard Antonio Rosales is the unit’s only returning starter.
The defensive line lost two starters in Kyle Kelley and Alex Barrett. The secondary will be without Malik Smith along with Kazee. The Aztecs also must find a punter to replace Tanner Blain, who doubled as the team’s holder on placements.
The silver lining is that San Diego State has a pipeline of talent, and many back ups and reserves are ready for the front line. In addition, San Diego State does return many key players, including Rashad Penny, Christian Chapman, John Baron II, and more. With talented young players like running back Juwan Washington looking to make their mark in the fall, the Aztecs do have depth.
The depth chart is sure to change as spring training moves forward. Here is the first one released by Rocky Long and company for last week’s spring practice and scrimmage: