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The Recruiting Road So Far: San Diego State

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Aztecs bring in a small haul in December

NCAA Football: New Mexico Bowl-Central Michigan vs San Diego State Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the seventh piece in our twelve-part series that hopefully makes the dead period go by a bit quicker. These articles aim to provide a detailed look at what each team has done thus far on the recruiting trail, and what work still needs to be put in before NLI day in February. One team a day will be featured, in order of where they fall in their current MWCConnection ranking. Today looks at San Diego State.

San Diego State:

7th in MWConnection Recruiting Rankings.

San Diego State bounced back after a down year to have a much more typical Aztec season. Though it didn’t result in a Mountain West championship appearance, they were competing for a spot until the end. The shift to the spread offense didn’t give the offense the jump start they were hoping for, but injuries to the quarterback and running back positions certainly played a significant factor as well.

This recruiting class should focus immensely on offensive playmakers. They need to strike gold one of these years at quarterback, to give another dimension to their strong running attack. And of course, there needs to be weapons to give the ball to in the passing game. The Aztecs recruit pure athletes are well as anyone in the MWC, and trying a few on offense could pay dividends for them. Of course, they should continue to develop other athletes on defense like normal, as their scheme thrives with playmakers in their back seven.

The Road So Far:

To the surprise of no one, the majority of San Diego State’s class comes from their own state, California. That’s where they are, and that’s where a good amount of talent is. The Aztecs recruit well there. In somewhat of a surprise, they also took two of the top players from Nevada, right under the noses of two conference rivals. Also, they took one player from Arizona, which produces a fair amount of talent each year.

Looking at the signees on offense, San Diego State may have finally found their quarterback to bring balance to the offense. This comes in the form of former four-star and USC transfer Jack Sears, who enters the fold and would be expected to start. He’s joined by a tight end and three offensive linemen. Jay Rudolph should fit right into the Aztec offense as they feature TEs well. Joey Wright is one of the best recruits in the MWC and was a one-time USC commit. John Harrison and Aidan Kinney are no slouches either, and all three are imposing figures along the line.

Shifting over to the defense, this class went heavy on the back eight in San Diego State’s 3-3-5 scheme. The pair of linebackers, Kobah Fuamatu and Vai Kaho are both extremely talented and will likely turn into very productive players in the Aztec defense. In the secondary, JC transfer Dallas Branch will add immediate depth while high school talents Brody Hughes and Dezjhon Malone can take time to develop if need be. Cassius Savage and Jelani Whitmore were announced as athletes. Still, it’s easy to see both of them in the defensive back group upon arrival, which rounds out a pretty talented secondary.

Number who signed in December: 12

Number who will enroll early: 2

The Road Ahead:

Top Targets Remaining: RB, WR, DL, DB

It’s odd to see a San Diego State recruiting class without a running back listed among the players. That is almost assured not to be the case come February. However, as the position that is the most featured in their offense, it may be challenging to find and secure one that is up to their usual level of quality this late in the recruiting cycle.

As far as other needs, bringing a wide receiver or two into this class is likely to happen. It would be even more beneficial if they can find WRs who can excel in the short passing or screen game. On the other side of the ball, the defensive line is a position that should be addressed in this class. Expect them to find a few players who specialize in shutting down the opponents running game. Linebacker and defensive back were addressed in this class in December. However, since the Aztecs employ five DBs in their base defense, it is likely they take at least one more player here.

San Diego State did a ton of recruiting work during December. If that same focus and intensity carries over to January, they could see a rise in the recruiting rankings.

Previous posts: Boise State, Wyoming, Nevada, San Jose State, Air Force, Fresno State

Coming Monday: Colorado State