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Projecting SDSU’s Spring Depth Chart

A quick dive into how the Aztecs depth chart may shake out for the 2020 season.

San Diego State safety Tariq Thompson reacts after a fourth quarter interception against BYU Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Aztecs finished last season 10-3 and 5-3 in Mountain West competitions. SDSU wrapped up their 2019 campaign with four straight wins, including a dominate victory over Central Michigan in the New Mexico Bowl. Looking ahead to the first game of the year against Sacramento State on September 5th, SDSU will have some new faces added to the team. The roster is not yet complete, with transfers and redshirtings that can still happen, but let’s take a shot at compiling San Diego State’s depth chart at the beginning of the 2020 season.



Starter - Carson Baker

2nd String - Lucas Johnson

3rd String - Jordon Brookshire

Running Back

Starter - Chance Bell

2nd String - Chase Jasmin

3rd String - Jordan Byrd

4th String- Kaegun Williams


Starter - Grady Vasquez

2nd String - Connor McBride

Wide Receiver

Starter - Kobe Smith

2nd String - Elijah Kothe

3rd String- Isaiah Richardson

Wide Receiver

Starter - Jesse Matthews

2nd String - BJ Busbee

3rd String - Ethan Dedeaux

Tight End

Starter - Daniel Bellinger

2nd String - Nolan Givan

3rd String - Alex Wilson

Left Tackle

Starter - Kyle Spalding

2nd String - Jacob Capra

Left Guard

Starter - Chris Martinez

2nd String - Sebastian Hernandez


Starter - Dominic Gudino

2nd String - Alama Uluave

Right Guard

Starter - William Dunkle

2nd String - Jalen Booth

Right Tackle

Starter - Zachary Thomas

2nd String - Desmond Bessent

The Aztecs will be returning a majority of their key contributors on offense from last season, but there are still some holes that need filling. Carson Baker and transfer, Lucas Johnson, will be battling for the starting QB spot. Baker will likely win due to his knowledge of the system, but Johnson is a dark horse to start later in the season, especially if Baker struggles.

One of the biggest holes heading into 2020 is center. Keith Ismael provided stellar play from the position for three years and there is no clear replacement. Gudino is the only SDSU lineman to receive snaps there last season, so he will presumably get the first crack at starting. Left guard is also wide open with the departure of Daishawn Dixon. Martinez comes on top in these projections, but JUCO transfer Hernandez has a real shot at beating him out during training camp.


Interior Defender

Starter - Cameron Thomas

2nd String - Jonah Tavai

Defensive End

Starter - Keshawn Banks

2nd String - Kobah Fuamatu

Defensive End

Starter - Connor Mitchell

2nd String - Jalil Lecky


Starter - Caden McDonald

2nd String - Michael Shawcroft

Middle Linebacker

Starter - Andrew Aleki

2nd String - Vai Koha


Starter - Seyddrick Lakalaka

2nd String - Kaelin Himphill


Starter - Eric Wilson

2nd String - Cedarious Barfield


Starter - Darren Hall

2nd String - Dallas Branch

Slot Cornerback/Safety

Starter - Tariq Thompson

2nd String - Adonis Brown


Starter - Dwayne Johnson Jr.

2nd String - Tayler Hawkins


Starter - Trenton Thompson

2nd String - Rashad Scott

Much like the offense, the majority of the starting defensive positions are nearly set in stone. The main concern on this side of the football is with the linebacking core. Aleki and McDonald are returning, but Kyahva Tezino and Troy Cassidy are huge losses, not only skill wise, but also in the leadership department.

True freshman do not typically start or see significant playing time for the Aztecs defense, but LB Vai Koha and LB/DE Kobah Fuamatu could be the exceptions this season. This is due to both the depth at those positions and their undeniable talent.

The Aztecs lost some key contributors in the secondary, mainly CB Luq Barcoo, which leaves opportunity for new faces. The starting cornerback spot opposite Darren Hall could be filled by senior Eric Wilson, redshirt sophomore Cedarious Barfield, or JUCO transfer Dallas Branch.


K - Matt Araiza

P - Prominence Akubuo-Onwuemeka

LS - Turner Bernard

KR - Jordan Byrd

PR - Jesse Matthews

Araiza provided solid play as a placekicker, connecting on all 28 extra point attempts and 22 of 26 field goals. With the loss of punter Brandon Heicklen, it will be interesting to see who SDSU trots out on their fourth downs next season. Outside of Araiza, Akubuo-Onwuemeka is known for his placekicking, he has experience as a punter and should win the job this offseason.

Byrd and Matthews were solid returners last season but with increased work loads on offense, the Aztecs may look to reduce their time on special teams. That being said, keep an eye on true freshman Isaiah McElvane and junior Kaegun Williams in the return game.


We are already half way through the month of May, meaning the 2020 season is almost upon us. San Diego State has a talented roster with question marks that are few and far between. The few they have, however, are worrisome. Quarterback is never where a coaching staff and fans alike want to be unsure about. Either Baker or Johnson can come in and provide stellar play at QB, but we will have to wait and see.

Defensively, linebacker looks to be a weak spot due to SDSU’s recent departures. Despite this, the Aztecs own a solid front four and an incredible secondary, which may allow them to get away with below average play from their LBs.

Next year marks the beginning of the second Brady Hoke era in The Mesa. It will be an adjustment season for San Diego State, but one that should be met with high expectations. With some new faces wearing black and scarlet and a new Head Coach at the helm, there is much to be excited about for the future of Aztecs football.