Jude Wolfe: Leader of the pack

Jude Wolfe in practice. (Credit: SDSU Athletics)

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Jude Wolfe at practice. (Don De Mars/EVT)

It was a late Christmas gift to San Diegans when SoCal native Jude Wolfe announced his transfer to San Diego State via X.com on December 28. This addition was much needed after the Aztecs lost their two top tight ends, Mark Redman and Cameron Harpole, to the portal.

Wolfe, who played for St. John Bosco High School, was highly recruited during the 2019 cycle. He secured offers from some of the top programs in the country, including Ohio State, LSU, and Alabama. He would eventually commit to the USC Trojans on August 3, 2018, just a short 25-minute drive to the LA Coliseum from where he was a nightmare for defenses as a Brave.

The former Trojan showed constant progression during his high school career. After only playing one varsity game as a sophomore, he would go on to play in sixteen games over the following two seasons while scoring three touchdowns during the 2017 season then more than doubling his touchdown catches to seven for his senior year.

His best game as a senior came against the Chaminade Eagles, where he had four catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. His longest reception of that game was a 52-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter to put his team up 42-6.

Wolfe enrolled early at USC in the spring of 2019. He would redshirt his freshman year after playing in four games with no receptions. During his time with USC, he was plagued by major injuries from back issues to fracturing his left foot three times. As a result, he never quite got going in the Trojans’ offense.

For his career, he has 12 receptions for 66 yards and one touchdown. His lone score came in a game against Sean Lewis’ former team, the Colorado Buffaloes.

“We did our due diligence with him,” Lewis said about Wolfe. “And we got him to campus and we were able to truly vet all of that out and really get a true understanding of what everything was. And the more that we got to know him and his hunger for how great he wants to be, his makeup, and to have that veteran leadership that we felt like we needed in that room, in particular, it ended up being a good fit for us,”

On December 1, 2023, the future Aztec announced he would be entering the transfer portal, and just 27 days later, he signed with the Red and Black.

Jude Wolfe after his final game at USC, which was played in Petco Park. (Credit: X.com @judewolfe25)

Final Destination: Snapdragon Stadium

Now, in his final year of eligibility, Wolfe joins Lewis and his Aztec Fast offense. He spearheads the position as the alpha, according to SDSU tight end coach Zac Barton.

“His maturity on the field is really, really high, and so is his maturity off the field,” said Barton. “He stepped in right away as a leader of the group, and he’s been doing a phenomenal job. He knows he’s the leader of that group.”

Jude Wolfe (18) at practice next to Danny O’Neil. (Credit: Johnny Olivieri)

Although his play time was very limited at USC, he got plenty of mental reps, so the veteran tight end has a great understanding of the game, and that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Lewis this spring.

“His overall understanding of how to play fast and processing what we call things and then within the run game understanding the leverage points of where things are going to be, and he’s a pretty savvy route runner, but he’s becoming a refined craftsman of all of that,” added Lewis.

Despite losing Redman and Harpole, the position group hasn’t declined as much as expected. Aztec fans have a lot to look forward to in their new tight end. With his size and pass-catching ability, Wolfe has the opportunity to make impacts in both the run game and pass game.

“What’s really exciting about him is he can do both, he can be at the point of attack at the run game and we can move him around all over the place and we can get in 10 personnel sets and split him out,” added Barton. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had a guy that can excel at doing both.”

“One play, he might be lined up in the fullback position in the box and the next, he may be split out as the number receiver running a vertical route, which is huge, so to have that toy is a lot of fun for coach Lewis and I besides quarterback were going to ask him to know and do the most.”

Aztec Fast offense

Since Lewis’ hire, the offense he is bringing to The Mesa has been a much-discussed topic. Every coach and player describes this style of offense in their terms.

“Dynamic and can hit from a lot of different places and do a lot of things, so be ready for it,” Wolfe said this spring when asked to describe the Aztec Fast offense.

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Throughout spring camp, Wolfe has been making plays during scrimmages. He’s great after the catch on screens, has caught some deep passes on fake screens, and looked great in run blocking.

USC transfer Jude Wolfe came to SDSU to play in Lewis’s offense. (Credit: Don De Mars/EVT)

His presence has been felt throughout the spring. Barton spoke on his advantage as a seasoned college player and the fact that this spring camp is far from his first rodeo.

“He knows what we’re expecting of him and he’s delivered,” Barton explained “He’s been the same kid every day he’s walked through the door, you want to be around him he’s positive all the time. That’s been a home run for us in getting him here just because of who he is every single day.”

Aztec Fast Showcase

This Saturday, April 20, fans will have the opportunity to see Lewis’ new Aztec Fast offense for themselves at Snapdragon Stadium at 1:00 pm.

“Establishing myself both in the run game and the pass game, something at USC I didn’t have many opportunities to do and now I can showcase the full spectrum of my abilities,” Wolfe stated this week as his main goal during Saturday’s spring game.

Lewis and Barton will look to unlock this new weapon to inflict serious damage to opposing defenders this upcoming season, and fans will get their first glimpse in person very soon. They have both raved about his potential.

“Jude is one of the most complete tight ends that we’ve had that is going to be able to stretch the defense when he’s both detached and inline, so we’re pretty excited about what he brings to the table,” Lewis stated.

“Athletically, his potential is through the roof, and the only thing that has been holding him back is injuries,” Barton explained. “He’s made some plays this spring; he had one where he rolled his neck on a flag route and caught the ball over his shoulder that I haven’t seen somebody make in a long time.”

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