Reconstruction of Aztec football roster as 2022 spring practice approaches

The San Diego State soccer team in 2022 will feature new faces in half of the offense, defense and special teams seats.

The reconstruction of the roster is almost complete with spring training (starting February 28) in five weeks.

Most of the turnover is on offense — down the line, at quarterback, running back and wide receiver — where only four of the 11 starters return (based on a two tight end/two wide receiver alignment).

The defense returns seven of the 11 starters, with the biggest loss being Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Cameron Thomas.

The big loss on special teams is Ray Guy Award-winning punter Matt Araiza, who also did substitute and kick-off jobs.

SDSU’s spring roster for 2022 currently includes 85 players. About two dozen players will be added to the roster in the fall when additional Class of 2022 players arrive, along with favorite walk-ons.

The Aztecs already have 20 players in their 2022 recruiting class. The class will be completed when the regular drawing period begins on February 2.

An overview of the comings and goings, starting with the 31 seniors who were on the 2021 team:

Super Seniors leave after using their additional year of eligibility during COVID-19 (9): LB Andrew Aleki, RB Greg Bell, CB Tayler Hawkins, DL Jalil Lecky, DL Sefo Mailangi, DL Kahi Neves, LB Segun Olubi, LT Zachary Thomas, S Trenton Thompson.

Enter the transfer portal (7): OL Desmond Bessent, QB Jordon Brookshire, WR BJ Busbee, QB Lucas Johnson, OL Chris Martinez, WR Kobe Smith, RB Kaegun Williams.

Listed for NFL Draft (1): TE Daniel Bellinger

Other seniors leaving (7): TE Kyler Albanez, WR Ethan Dedeaux, OG Dominic Gudino, WR Elijah Kothe, TE Connor McBride, WR Isaiah Richardson, S Rashad Scott.

Seniors have confirmed that they will return as Super Seniors with an additional year of eligibility during COVID-19 (7): DE Keshawn Banks, RB Chance Bell, RB Jordan Byrd, DT Jonah Tavai, C Alama Uluave, LB Seyddrick Lakalaka, LB Caden McDonald.

Juniors who have entered the NFL Draft (3): P/PK Matt Araiza, OL William Dunkle, DE Cameron Thomas.

Other undergrads leave (9): LB Andrew Alves, RB Stephen Britton, OL Joey Capra (portal), WR Koby Duru (portal), OL Ilaisa Gonebure (portal), OL Sebastian Hernandez, QB Baylor Horning, TE Miles McCormick, SS Jacob Raab,

Class of 2022 transfers joining the team during the Spring Semester (6): OL Cade Bennett (Oklahoma State), QB Braxton Burmeister (Virginia Tech), DL Deven Lamp (Tulsa), LB Cooper McDonald (Washington), TE Mark Redman (Washington) and DE Justus Tavai (Hawaii).

Class of freshmen 2022 joining the team for the spring semester (3): QB Liu Aumavae and QB Kyle Crum, TE Logan Tanner.

Walk-on freshmen (1): RB Ace Saca.

RETURN STARTERS

Violation (4): C Alama Uluave, RT Brandon Crenshaw-Dickson, TE Jay Rudolph, WR Jesse Mathews. Note: RB Jordan Byrd was a starter in two back formations.

Defense (7): DE Keshawn Banks, DT Jonah Tavai, LB Caden McDonald, LB Michael Shawcroft, CB Dallas Branch, S Patrick McMorris, S CJ Baskerville.

Special teams (3): H Jake Browning, LS Ryan Wintermeyer, KR/PR Jordan Byrd.

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