The San Diego State football program has gained much traction among San Diegans for an obvious reason that does not need mentioning.
For some, San Diego State football has always been worth watching. Nevertheless, it is a good time to be an SDSU football fan.
San Diego State ended the season nationally ranked for the first time since 1986 thanks to, now Philadelphia Eagle, Donnel Pumphrey. The running back led the nation in rushing with 2,133 yards and was in the Heisman conversation for most of the year. He also led SDSU to a second straight Mountain West Championship.
Now that Pumphrey is gone, someone is going to have to step it up and take a lot of the work load. That someone is Rashaad Penny.
The running back has been a backup for San Diego State for his whole collegiate career. That is no longer the case. Rashaad Penny is now the Aztecs starting running back. He will get the lion’s share of the carries out of the backfield and should be in for a very productive year.
Although Penny was the backup to Pumphrey, he put up tremendous numbers when he did play. Penny still put up 1,005 yards and averaged 7.4 yards per carry. He finished 11th in the nation in that category. San Diego State is one of only five schools with two 1,000 yard rushers. The SDSU offensive line was dominant last year.
Speaking of offensive line, San Diego State lost four out of the five starting lineman from the 2016 campaign. That is an obstacle that Rashaad Penny will have to overcome. Although, I believe SDSU head coach Rocky Long will have the team prepared on game day.
Take a look at this highlight film from Penny. He has the moves for success.
Now that Rashaad Penny will get the majority of the rushes, it seems as though it is only a matter of time before he hits the 2,000 yard mark on the year (barring any injury). The only time a school had a 2,000 yard rusher in two straight years was in 1995 and 1996, when Troy Davis of Iowa State rushed for 2,010 yards and 2,185 yards respectively. Equaling this amazing feat is going to be tough, but if anyone can do it. It is going to be Rashaad Penny.
Another addition to the case for a Rashaad Penny for the Heisman trophy is that he will probably still be returning kickoffs for the Aztecs. Take a look at this video of him and what he is capable of doing in the open field. Penny can be a special teams force for the Aztecs.
The senior running back received Mountain West All American honors for both running back and kick returner. If Penny excels in both positions, he will more than likely be in the Heisman conversation. Only time will tell.
If the San Diego State Aztecs want another successful season, Rashaad Penny is going to have to step up and put up Heisman like numbers, and I certainly believe he will do just that. Penny has the explosiveness and skill to win the Heisman trophy and lead San Diego State to a hugely successful 2017 football season.