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Spring Wrap: San Diego State Aztecs

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Kent C. Horner/Getty Images
Kent C. Horner/Getty Images

While the majority of Mountain West Conference squads are still thigh-pad deep in spring drills, four programs have already wrapped up their allotted 15 practices.

Here’s a glance at how the spring went for the 2012 Mountain West Conference tri-champion San Diego State Aztecs:

Positive developments

  • With towering tight end Gavin Escobar leaving a year early to enter the NFL Draft, SDSU made strides in filling one of its biggest depth-chart holes. Rising sophomore Robert Craighead, who has shifted back and forth from the defensive line, looks as if he may have found a home at tight end after making a solid spring impression.
  • Of course there’s still work to be done, but the Aztecs did get a taste of the pro-style West Coast scheme run by new offensive coordinator Bob Toledo. It won’t be a radical change from Andy Ludwig’s offense of the last two seasons, but it’s a key change nonetheless for a program with a unsettled quarterback situation.

Lingering issues

  • Speaking of that QB situation, fellow MWC contributing writer Joe Jenkins recently broke down the derby, which entered the spring with no fewer than six starting contenders but is now down to three with one front-runner, junior Adam Dingwell. It may be Dingwell’s job to lose in fall camp, but he’s going to have to smooth over some of the ups and downs of his five-start sophomore season.
  • SDSU had some reconfiguring to do in the defensive backfield after losing three-time all-first-team MWC corner Leon McFadden, and it remains a work in progress with a pair of key returnees, CB King Holder and safety Marcus Andrews, missing the spring with injuries.

Spring-game standouts

  • Among the five QBs who played, Dingwell was as good as any, finishing 7-of-13 for 90 yards.
  • Wideout Tim Vizzi hauled in a team-high five passes for 51 yards.
  • Cornerback Mahbu Keels was all over the field with a team-high six tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble receovery.
  • Linebacker Derek Largent notched five tackles and three sacks.

Up next

It’s fall camp of course, and then things kick off for real Aug. 31 when the Aztecs host FCS Eastern Illinois.