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November 4, 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.

Philip: Kendrick Mathis seemed like an SDSU lean for a while, is there any current football recruits that you feel the same way about and could commit soon?

I don't think there's anybody like Mathis out there right now yet. You could tell he was ready to commit to San Diego State two months ago. But I'll say receivers Alex Jackson and Eric Judge are probably the closest thing to what Mathis was.

Jackson told me SDSU and Iowa State are his top two. He already took his official visit to Iowa State and didn't commit, which is a really good sign for the Aztecs. He's seen Qualcomm Stadium now for a game last month and he's always liked what SDSU brings. Plus, it's close to home for the Culver City High product. He has his official to SDSU lined up for mid-December, so I think that's when you could see some activity from him.

As for Judge, he's very similar to Jackson, only his top two are UCLA and SDSU. But he's always said the Aztecs are his favorite. He's scheduled to take his officials to State and UCLA in December as well, so he, like Jackson, likely won't have a decision until then.


Matt: Do you think there is any traction with SDSU Football landing in the Big East Western Division?; Erwin: Outlook on SDSU football when Boise and Air Force leave and CUSA merger?; Robert: With Hawaii going to the MW next year how much do you see Long and Co. recruiting Hawaii and do you think it would be a good idea to do so?

OK, I decided to group all of the conference realignment stuff into one question. Partly because it's my least favorite thing ever to talk about. As far as the Big East Western Division goes, I know there are several SDSU officials, including the biggest official of them all, head coach Rocky Long, who think this is probably the most ideal situation for the Aztecs at this point. It wouldn't require them to travel to some absurd places at ridiculous hours every week and it would presumably bring a BCS automatic qualifier bid with it. However, the Big East seems hell-bent on not inviting SDSU or anybody it feels is an inferior school, so I'm not sure if this ever happens.

If Boise State and Air Force do in fact leave for the Big East, I think the CUSA and Mountain West merger certainly still happens, but I think it becomes just one big muddle of terrible. With Boise State and Air Force gone, plus SMU, Central Florida and Houston out as well (they were also invited to the Big East with BSU and AF), I believe that makes East Carolina and Nevada the most powerhouse schools in the 20-plus school conference. When East Carolina and Nevada are your poster boys, I'm pretty sure your conference isn't very good. It's certainly not ideal, and I think that's why SDSU Athletic Director Jim Sterk has been sending the Aztecs' résumé to any big conference that will take it.

Finally, I don't think Hawaii coming to the conference changes anything with recruiting. Hawaii has never been a really fertile soil for SDSU to pick its crops from, and I don't see how having Hawaii join its conference changes that. The Aztecs should and most likely will stick to what they know: California, Arizona and Texas.



Michael: Al Borges occasionally ran some pretty mean trick plays (Fake fullback dive on the goal line, fleaflicker, etc). Does Andy Ludwig have any trick plays in store this season and does he plan on showcasing any?

I have to say, I've been out to every open practice since August, and outside of a few cute reverses (like you've already seen Leon McFadden run a few times), I haven't seen any trick plays in the repertoire. Granted, I don't think SDSU has played anybody really worthy of running super trick plays against, so that could be a reason why the Aztecs haven't shown any yet. But I don't think you'll be seeing any flea flickers or Statue of Liberty's at Qualcomm Stadium this weekend. Maybe for Boise State, but who knows?


Stephen: What was your take on the Aztecs exhibition game on Wednesday night?

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I know some fans, and even some within SDSU, were a little bit worried about this season, but based on what I saw against CSU San Marcos, I don't think it will be a tremendously epic dropoff from last season's 34-3 run. James Rahon and Chase Tapley look like they could be two of the top six leading scorers in the Mountain West this season, and if Deshawn Stephens can keep that production up (16 points and nine rebounds), SDSU should be fine.

Now do I think this team looks like an NCAA Tournament team right now? No. But it has all the weapons to at least be in the talk for the tourney, kind of like the years when Lorrenzo Wade and Richie Williams were here.



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