Aztecs football roster rebuild ahead of 2022 spring training

The 2022 San Diego State football team will feature new faces in half of the offensive, defensive and special team spots.

The roster rebuild is virtually complete with spring training (starting Feb. 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 11 starters return (based on a two-end roster tight / two wide receivers).

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

The big loss for special teams is Ray Guy award-winning punter Matt Araiza, who also handled kicking and kickoff duties.

SDSU’s Spring 2022 roster currently includes 85 players. About two dozen more players will be added to the roster in the fall when additional players from the Class of 2022 arrive with favorite extras.

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

A look back at the whereabouts, starting with the 31 seniors who were part of the 2021 squad:

Super Seniors leaving after using their additional year of eligibility provided 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.

Entered 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.

Declared for the NFL Draft (1): TE Daniel Bellinger

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

The seniors have confirmed their return as super seniors with an additional year of eligibility provided 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 declared for the NFL Draft (3): P/PK Matt Araiza, OL William Dunkle, DE Cameron Thomas.

Other subclasses leaving (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,

Transfers from the class of 2022 joining the team in the spring semester (6): OL Cade Bennett (from Oklahoma State), QB Braxton Burmeister (Virginia Tech), DL Deven Lamp (Tulsa), LB Cooper McDonald (Washington), TE Mark Redman (Washington) and DE Justus Tavai (Hawaii).

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

Freshman (1): RB Ace Saca.

RETURNING BEGINNERS

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

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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