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September 30, 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.

Solayman: Has the team gotten over its hangover from the Michigan game?

I certainly think so. At the time, the Michigan loss probably felt like a massive punch in the face for SDSU and its fans. Ryan Lindley even called it a kick to the groin on Tuesday. But I think once the Aztecs sat down and thought about it, the game really did not mean that much after all.

It's a non-conference opponent, so it has no effect on their Mountain West Conference title dreams, which is by the way their No. 1 goal this season. It's also a road loss to a ranked team who has a head coach who "will win a national championship," according to Rocky Long, so it's not like it was a bad loss. Plus, in the second half, they hung in with and arguably exposed a Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback, Denard Robinson.

With all that said, I think the players are definitely over it. The real question should be, are the fans over it? Like I said in our Reporters' Roundtable earlier this week, local fans wanted to rally around this team. But now that the team doesn't have the same historic feel as the SDSU basketball team did last season, I really want to see how the fans react next Saturday against TCU at Qualcomm Stadium.


D.J.: Who looks like they could be the next Aztec recruit to commit in football or basketball?

This is by far the most asked question I get here every week, so I might as well answer it this week. The real answer is I have no idea, and neither does anybody at SDSU. But I'll throw out a guess to throw you all a bone.

If I had to bet, I would say Kendrick Mathis is probably the Aztecs' next commitment. He's a huge priority for SDSU, and he also really likes State. He could come to the TCU game next week, and if he likes what he sees there, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see a commitment.

As for basketball, don't be surprised if it's done with its class for this year. It's still recruiting several players extremely hard, and it loves Matt Willms and Winston Shepard. But if those two choose other schools, I believe you could see SDSU hang on to its last two scholarships and wait for players to transfer from other schools in the future. After all, a huge chunk of their success last season can be attributed to Malcolm Thomas, James Rahon and Brian Carlwell, and they were all transfers. So the Aztecs have to stick to what makes them successful and not just give out scholarships because they have them on hand.


Ted: I keep hearing about kids taking official visits to other schools, why haven't any kids taken theirs to SDSU yet?

Good question, one I actually had myself. Every recruit I've asked about an official visit to SDSU has told me he plans on taking his in December. Finally, I asked Long why on Thursday night. He said the reason is because he wants his SDSU coaching staff to focus on its upcoming game, not on showing recruits around and catering to them.

It's just another difference between the Mountain West and the BCS conference schools. Those programs have a recruiting coordinator who has five or six assistants, because they can actually afford to pay that many people to do one thing. Over at State, money is tight, so the coaching staff is really all the recruiters SDSU has. Because of that, they can't exactly take days off during game week to show recruits around.

Long said they will likely play host to around 30 recruits in December when the season has concluded and take care of recruiting then.


Tom: You gave out your non-conference awards this week, which I really enjoyed. But what aspect of SDSU's team do you think has been disappointing?

I don't think there's any group more disappointing maybe even in the entire MW than the Aztecs' tight ends. This was the most hyped up unit I've ever seen SDSU have in my five years covering this squad. They were supposed to have four starters, with Alston Umuolo, Gavin Escobar, D.J. Shields and Bryce Quigley. And while they haven't exactly been awful, they haven't been great either.

As a whole, the group only has 21 catches through four games. Meanwhile, Colin Lockett, a guy who everybody was skeptical about in the summer, has 19 catches by himself. The tight ends need to make more of an impact on this team if SDSU seriously wants to beat TCU, Air Force and Boise State.


Talk more Aztecs with Publisher Edward Lewis on ASR's premium message board!










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