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July 15, 2011

Mailbag on the Mesa

Editor's note: Every Friday ASR Publisher Edward Lewis will answer some questions from fans about the Aztecs in this weekly mailbag. Send questions to edwardflewis@yahoo.com, @EdwardLewisASR on Twitter, post questions on the message board or put questions on ASR's Facebook page.

ROB: Probably too hard to say but if you had to guess who do you think is the closest out the rest of the prospects to commit to SDSU?

You're right, it is very hard to say, because most of the guys that have San Diego State in their top three or top five have told me they'd likely wait until after their official visits or after their senior year of high school football to make their decision.

But, you asked for a guess, so here it is. Oceanside (Calif.) High offensive lineman Eduardo Middleton has the Aztecs in his top three, and he said he'd like to make his decision some time in August. He's a 6-foot-5, 290-pound OL who understands the Oceanside-SDSU pipeline that was opened when former head coach Brady Hoke came to the program. He's already talking to some of the Oceanside guys at SDSU, and said they're telling him good things. The tackle does have 10 offers though, but if I had a guess, I'd say he'd be the closest one out of most of the prospects to committing.



MATTHEW: Know of any big-name recruits in football that SDSU might have a shot at?

They're taking a shot at plenty of them. Four-star OL Jordan Simmons, five-star OL Andrus Peat and four-star LB Antonio Morrison all have offers from SDSU. Now, do those guys want to come to SDSU? Maybe - but maybe not.

The best "big-name" recruit I think they have a shot at is four-star LB Aaron Porter. I know he just committed to UCLA a week and a half ago, but we've all seen how commitments can go (see QB Jeff Lockie and his Oregon-SDSU ordeal). Just three months ago, Porter said SDSU was "definitely" in his "top one or two." He also said he "loves" the Aztecs and wanted to play with La Habra High alum Ronnie Hillman. I also know he's a high priority recruit for SDSU, so I can't imagine they would just let him go because of a verbal commitment. He's still a guy I'd keep my eye on if I were an Aztec fan, because I can see a scenario where SDSU can still land him.


KRISH: It looks like SDSU is recruiting Ariz. and Colo. pretty heavily. I know in the past the out-of-state recruiting was limited by the budget constraints and the additional costs associated with out-of-state tuition / scholarships. I'm assuming the football staff has been given the green light to do more out of state recruiting now that some of the budget issues have been alleviated?

I think the whole budget thing gets blown way out of proportion. Was SDSU in a pretty tight bind for money? Sure. But does it affect recruiting so much that the Aztecs wouldn't recruit out-of-state kids? I highly doubt that. I'd hate to be the guy who tells head coach Rocky Long he can't have his four-star offensive lineman because it might cost the school a few extra bucks.

I think the real reason out-of-state recruiting has been more successful recently is because the Aztecs have simply been better. When Chuck Long was in charge, they used to be known as the team that gets trucked by 40 points per game. Now, with Hoke and Rocky Long, recruits know the Aztecs will be competitive and they know if they go there, they'll be a part of a solid football team. Recruits also know how good the weather in San Diego is, so that's a big drawing point too. And of course, you can't forget about the coaching staff and their connections. A lot of the new coaches brought in by Hoke and Rocky Long have solid connections in Colorado, Texas and Arizona in addition to California.


RINCON: Any updates on when the new class will get on campus? Are there any players who might not qualify? What's the word on our new strength coach and have you gotten a look at the team starting summer workouts?

Lots of questions here. Let's see if I can get them all. I've heard Aug. 8 will be the day training camp officially starts, so I would assume the recruits will start piling onto campus within the next couple weeks. I just talked to potential recruit Kimo Seau, and he said his cousin and 2011 SDSU recruit Micah Seau had just come down to San Diego last weekend. So I'm assuming they're gearing up to get started at State. As far as players who might not qualify, I likely won't know that information until we get closer to camp and some of these players do start filing in.

The strength and conditioning coach is a good question, because Hoke attributed most of his success, if not all of it, to former strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman. The new coach is Rick Court, and from what Rocky Long has said, his workouts are very similar to Wellman's. Time will tell, obviously, the difference between the two. And I've caught a little glimpse of the team working out in the weight room in my trips to the athletic department, but too tough to say how they're looking in summer workouts. In August, though, you'll be bombarded by articles about how they look, so stay tuned.


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