Welcome to the eighth post 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 this year in alphabetical order. Today will look at San Diego State.
San Diego State:
The 2020 season had its bumps and bruises for pretty much everyone, and San Diego State was no exception. They started off strong, winning three of their first four, with the only loss coming to eventual champs San Jose State. Then their fortunes reversed, and their weakness were exposed. They dropped three of their final four (not including one game that wasn’t played), including two losses to teams outside the conference. Their final win was against struggling Colorado State.
With eligibility rules being adjusted for Covid, it’s a bit difficult to know which players are staying or leaving. That makes it a bit harder to understand what specific needs are in the class. That being said, this class needed to shore up the depth in almost every area after the program experienced a high amount of attrition following the coaching change. To see how they’ve done so far, look below.
The Road So Far:
To the surprise of no one, the majority of San Diego State’s class comes from their own state, California. However, they dipped into Texas more than usual this year and also did work in Arizona and Nevada, and even the eastern half of the country. Even more importantly, the Aztecs were able to sign basically a full class of players during the first signing period. As it will be shown below, this is one of the best classes SDSU has put together in recent memory.
Looking at the signees on offense, William Haskell a talented dual-threat QB with great size. He’s joined by the SEC transfer Jalen Mayden who was highly rated out of high school. It wouldn’t be an Aztec recruiting class without a running back, and the one they signed, Cam Davis, honed his skills in Texas. As for the pass catchers, the receivers and tight ends look set for the future, with Phillippe Wesley and Gus McGee especially. All three of the TE commits bring lots of size to the position. San Diego State also added four players along the offensive line, with Ross Maseuli out of Mater Dei and Ilaisa Gonebure headlining the unit and looking like the guards of the future.
Shifting over to the defense, this class went heavy on the back eight in San Diego State’s 3-3-5 scheme. Darrion Dalton comes from powerhouse Saguaro HS and will likely need to put on weight, and Pa’a Ewaliko should fit in nicely on the edge with his length. The linebackers complement last year’s class nicely, with Zyrus Fiaseu and Dominic Oliver on the outside while DJ Herman and Brady Anderson look to play on the inside. The secondary was a strength of the Aztecs on the field this year, and it’s the strength of their recruiting class. Noah Avinger and CJ Baskerville are two of the better players in the conference and will push for early playing time when they get on campus. New Zealand Williams is right behind them in terms of talent and would arguably be the headliner in any other year. Finally, Jaiden Brown and DJ Bryant may need more time to develop compared to the others, but they don’t lack talent or athleticism.
Number who signed in December: 23
Number who will enroll early: 3
247 Composite rankings: 67
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: RB, DL
For the first time since the early signing period started, San Diego State is pretty much finished with their class, and they could be done if they wanted to be.
As far as other needs, it comes down to adding depth at specific positions, but there are not any glaring needs. For a team built on running the ball, an additional running back in this class would be a plus, especially considering they lost one to the transfer portal recently. However, it would be a luxury to add one rather than a pressing need. Additionally, bringing in another defensive lineman looks like a place the Aztecs can take an extra player if they so desire. Otherwise, they’ve addressed their needs well in this class.
San Diego State did put in a lot of work with this recruiting class, and they have quality players to show for it. It’s one of the best classes in the conferences, and anyone else they sign between now and February is simply a bonus.
Previous posts: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico
Coming tomorrow: San Jose State