San Diego State Preview 2006 - Offense
San Diego State Aztecs
Preview 2006 - SDSU Offense
What you need to know ...
New offensive coordinator Del Miller
brings 25 years of experience with his most recent stint at
Kansas State, but this is Chuck Long's offense. It's not going
to be a night-and-day different offense with plenty of four-wide
sets and plenty of spread-it-out passing. However, the focus of
the attack will be on the running game with a next-level talent
in Lynell Hamilton to work with. The offensive line will be a
work in progress until the coaching staff figures out where to
put everyone. Kevin O'Connell is one of the Mountain West's best
all-around quarterbacks, but he'll have work to do with a young
receiving corps that needs a little time.
Passing: Kevin O'Connell
233-375, 2,663 yds, 19 TD, 12 INT
Rushing: Lynell Hamilton
190 carries, 819 yds, 9 TD
Receiving: Chazeray Schilens
34 catches, 441 yds, 2 TD
Star of the offense: Junior RB Lynell Hamilton
Wide receiver experience
Player that has to step up and become a star: Junior WR
Unsung star on the rise: Redshirt freshman WR Mekell
Best pro prospect: Hamilton
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Hamilton, 2) QB Kevin
Strength of the offense: Backfield
Weakness of the offense:
The cupboard is stocked. This should be the season Kevin
O'Connell becomes and all-star with the all-around talents to
put up huge numbers. Darren Mougey isn't the same passer
O'Connell is, but he's just as good an athlete and has a big
arm. Kevin Craft, at worst, is a great number three passer to
The key to the unit: Kevin O'Connell has to make his
young receiving corps shine. He doesn't have Jeff Webb or Robert
Ortiz to rely on anymore, so he'll have to be razor-sharp to
keep the passing game moving.
Quarterback Rating: 7
- Kevin O'Connell, Jr. - 233-375, 62%, 2,663 yds, 19 TD,
12 INT, 140 carries, 402 yds, 2.9 ypc, 5 TD
O'Connell started every game last year and got better and better
as the season went on. He had a few rough outings, but for the
most part he was consistent. He's 6-6 and 220 pounds with
excellent mobility and a live, accurate arm. He's the
unquestioned team leader and should be in for a huge season if
he can get decent production out of his receiving corps.
- Darren Mougey, Soph. - 13-26, 50%, 116 yds, 1 TD, 2
INT, 17 carries, 96 yds, 5.6 ypc
Mougey has the best all-around combination of skills among the
quarterbacks with 6-5, 220-pound size, excellent speed, and the
smarts to handle the offense. However, he's in a battle for the
number two job and needs to show that he can move the offense on
a consistent basis to be considered the star of the future.
- Kevin Craft, RFr.
If the last name sounds familiar, it's because Kevin Craft is
the son of former head coach, Tom Craft. He's a tall passer with
a live, accurate arm. He's a smart decision maker with enough
upside to grow this spring into the possible number two man.
Helped by the running ability of quarterback
Kevin O'Connell, the Aztecs finished a respectable 54th in the
nation in rushing offense. Now it's time to be better with a
great stable of backs led by Lynell Hamilton, who has high draft
pick written all over him if he can stay healthy. Brandon Bornes
is one of the Mountain West's best number two backs, while
Atiyyah Henderson will be an intriguing option because of his
The key to the unit: Lynell Hamilton has to be 100%
all year long meaning Brandon Bornes needs plenty of relief
Running Back Rating: 8
- Lynell Hamilton, Jr. - 190 carries, 819 yds, 4.3 ypc, 9
TD, 26 carries, 144 yds, 5.5 ypc
Hamilton is the total package with speed, 220-pound size, and
great hands as a receiver. The only question mark is his
inability to stay healthy for a full season. He looked fine
coming off the broken ankle that cost him all of 2004, but he
was limited in the middle of the season with only 21 carries
over a key four game Mountain West span. When he's 100%, he's
one of the best backs in the country finishing up 2005 with
three straight 100-yard games and showed off his skills with a
161-yard, two touchdown day against BYU before getting hurt.
- Brandon Bornes, Jr. - 92 carries, 369 yds, 4 ypc, 2 TD,
12 catches, 72 yds, 6 ypc
Bornes is a very nice insurance policy to carry. He's 215
pounds, very fast, and experienced with 23 games, 947 yards, and
eight touchdowns under his belt. He can run with power between
the tackles or cut to the outside and make things happen.
Considering the injury issues Lynell Hamilton has had over the
years, Bornes will have to always be prepared to be the number
- Atiyyah Henderson RFr.
It's all about speed for the 5-9, 180-pound Henderson. He's the
team's flashiest back with great open field moves and a
tremendous burst. He's never going to run over anyone, but he
should be a nice change-of-pace back to Lynell Hamilton.
- Tyler Campbell, Soph.
The 210-pound sophomore is a nice power back to have in the mix.
He'll play the halfback/fullback role behind Brandon Bornes, but
he likely won't see more than a few carries a game.
Losing the 92 catches, 1,109 yards and ten
touchdowns of Jeff Webb and the reliability of top number two
receiver Robert Ortiz will hurt. There are several promising
prospects in the rotation, but not a true, sure-thing number one
man. At least not yet. Chazeray Schilens has the potential to be
the go-to guy, while DeMarco Sampson, Mekell Wesley and Roberto
Wallace are great young talents that have to mature in a hurry.
There aren't any returning catches at tight end, but Waika
Spencer and Steve Schmidt should form a nice 1-2 punch as the
year goes on.
The key to the unit: One player has to emerge from
the pack, while the home-run hitting potential has to shine
through on the outside.
Receiver Rating: 6
- Chazeray Schilens, Jr. - 34 catches, 441 yds, 13 ypc, 2
It's Schilens' show to run now that top receivers Jeff Webb and
Robert Ortiz are gone. The 6-4, 205-pound junior is the only
returning starter and the top returning receiver with nice
skills, but not next-level ability. He had his best game of the
season in the finale against Hawaii catching eight passes for
119 yards and a touchdown, but that's not going to be the norm.
- Brett Swain, Jr. - 15 catches, 288 yds, 19.2 ypc, 1 TD
Swain didn't start last year, but he was a decent reserve
finishing fifth on the team in catches and first in yards per
catch despite missing a few games with an injury. Mostly a
possession receiver, his yard-per-catch average went through the
roof with an 80-yard touchdown catch on the first play from
scrimmage against Ohio State. While not a true burner, he has
decent speed and is tough on the inside.
- DeMarco Sampson, Soph. - 6 catches, 60 yds, 10 ypc, 1
The sky's the limit for the star-to-be true sophomore. He's 6-2
and 200 pounds with excellent speed and home-run hitting
ability. However, the light has to turn on. He mostly played on
special teams last year and will have to battle with Ramal
Porter for the starting X job.
- Tight end Steve Schmidt, Sr.
The 6-5, 240-pound former JUCO transfer played in ten games but
didn't catch any passes. He's more of a blocker than a receiver,
and now he'll have to fight off Waika Spencer for playing time.
- Mekell Wesley, RFr.
With decent size and great speed, the 5-10, 180-pound Wesley is
a big more dynamic than starter Brett Swain at the W position.
He has the quickness to eventually become a kick returner and
could end up being used on the outside X position.
- Roberto Wallace, RFr.
Wallace was a top recruit last year and will eventually be one
of the team's better receivers. He's 6-4 and 205 pounds with
nice hands, but he'll have a hard time seeing playing time early
on behind Chazeray Schilens.
- Ramal Porter, Sr. - 1 catch, 5 yds
A big play waiting to happen, it hasn't happened much yet with
just one catch last year and 17 in in 2004. However, he's one of
the team's fastest players and should push for DeMarco Sampson
for the starting job on the outside.
- Tight end Waika Spencer, RFr.
Watch for the 6-4, 230-pound Spencer to quickly become a major
factor in the offense. He wasn't heavily recruited because of a
knee injury late in his high school career, but he played
through it. Now he should be a top receiver in the new offense.
Competition is the key to the line with four of the five
spots still up for grabs going into fall practice. It's not like guard
Brandyn Dombrowski and tackle Will Robinson aren't going to start, the
question will be where? The big key will be to improve the overall
consistency after struggling a bit too much to keep the running game
going and allowing 27 sacks. Size won't be a problem, but finding the
right combination will be.
The key to the unit: The starting five has to be
settled on as soon as possible this fall.
Offensive Line Rating: 5.5
- OT Will Robinson, Jr.
The versatile Robinson is one of the line's most experienced players. He
saw time almost everywhere as a freshman before settling in at right
tackle where he was one of the team's better all-around blockers. Now
he'll start out at left tackle, but could be moved around again. He's
not huge a 6-6 and 270 pounds, but he's athletic and is great on the
- OG Brandyn Dombrowski, Jr.
Dombrowski got over the ankle problems that plagued him as a redshirt
freshman and started every game at right guard. Now he'll battle with
Nick Smith for the job at left guard. He's 6-5 and 325 pounds with 17
games of starting experience.
- C Patrick Justman, Sr.
The anchor of the line with 23 games of experience, the 6-5, 305-pound
senior is a smart, tough center who won't make many mistakes. A backup
all of last year, he started ten games in 2004.
- OG Mike Schmidt, Soph.
The 6-2, 300-pound sophomore appears to be the only one with a lock on a
job. He came out of spring ball as the starter at right guard where he's
expected to be a rock for the next three years.
- OT Mike Kravetz, Jr.
Thrown to the wolves early on in his career, the 6-5, 290-pound junior
has enough experience, and one start early last year, to handle the job
on the right side. He got knocked out in the second game of the season,
but he's back and appears to be ready to be a major contributor at
either right tackle or right guard.
- OT/OG Nick Smith, Sr.
The former star JUCO transfer will now be a key contributor, if he
doesn't take over a starting spot, at either left tackle or left guard.
He's an athletic and tough 280 pounds who'll end up finding a spot
- C Eder Arosemena, Sr.
The center position isn't a lock to go to Patrick Justman
quite yet, The 285-pound Arosemena is smaller, but he showed he could
handle himself well in spring. ball.
- OT Eric Rouser, Soph.
Rouser stepped in and started for three games early on at right tackle
before being replaced by Will Robinson. He's an interesting pass
protector at 6-8 and 250 pounds used as more of a huge blocking tight
end than a true pounding type of tackle.
- OT Robert Nelson, Sr.
While he hasn't done much of anything in his career thanks to injuries,
he might see more time somewhere just because of his 6-10, 330-pound
frame. He started out as a tackle, moved to guard, and now will be a
backup left tackle.