The Ins and Outs of SDSU Football’s Spring Transfer Window

RB Martin Blake completes a drill during the first practice of spring camp as RBs coach Darian Hagan looks on (Don De Mars/EVT).

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DL coach David Lose and EDGE coach Rob Aurich during the Aztec Fast Showcase (Don De Mars/EVT).

Last year, the biggest news at the end of spring camp for SDSU Football was the transfer of star safety Patrick McMorris.

The Santa Ana native chose to play his final collegiate season close to his two brothers at Cal. Last week, the Miami Dolphins drafted McMorris in the sixth round of the NFL Draft. 

Outside of McMorris’ departure and starting right tackle Josh Simmons leaving the team before spring to enter the transfer portal when it opened, the Aztec football team lost only a small handful of players. Adding P5 experienced players, Deshawn Mccuin (TCU) and Myles Murao (Washington), in the post-spring transfer window helped replace their outgoing starters. Otherwise, the team was mostly intact. 

LB Caleb Otlewski in an Aztec uniform for the final time at the Aztec Fast Showcase. (Cedric Jones/EVT)

The same cannot be said for the 2024 spring window.

While a large turnover came about during the first offseason transfer portal window in December due to the head coaching change, more turnover was expected after the new staff would get 15 practices to determine the strengths and weaknesses of their position groups.

Since the start of March, 23 players have departed from the roster, 16 on scholarship. Five defensive linemen, four linebackers, and three running backs pace the majority of the scholarship departures.

Here is the full list grouped by position and the school they committed to (if known):

QB Tobin O’Dell

RB Sheldon Canley

RB Anthony McMillian Jr

RB Martin Blake

RB Leo Kemp (UCLA)

WR Pierce Brown

WR Darius Hyde

TE Max Difillippo

OL Jonah Rodriguez (Arizona)

OL Kyle Stanback

LB Chris Fewell in an Aztec uniform for the final time at the Aztec Fast Showcase. (Cedric Jones/EVT)

DL Garret Fountain

DL Brandon McElroy

DL Sinn Brennan

DL Talib Salahuddin

DL Kenneth Jiles, Jr.

DL Jaliel Jackson

LB Caleb Otlewski

LB Chris Fewell

LB Darrell Masaniai

LB New Zealand Williams

S Davaughn Celestine

S DJ Bryant

K Abraham Montano

Fountain and O’Dell, both of whom participated in winter conditioning, left the team before the start of camp on March 12.

Losing 16 scholarship players did not mean head coach Sean Lewis and his staff had 16 open spots to fill. SDSU filled all of its scholarship allotment to competition during spring camp. Given the incoming high school class for the fall semester, the spring roster would have required departures to comply with the 85 scholarship limit. 

RB Sheldon Canley during the first practice of spring camp (Don De Mars/EVT).

The departures opened up ten scholarship spots. One of those was predestined for one of the three placekickers who won the competition in the spring. While an official announcement has not been made by the school, Gabriel Plascencia’s trainer, Paul Assad, took to social media to congratulate the junior on earning a scholarship. On Monday, the school confirmed to EVT that Plascencia had earned a scholarship but noted the competition to determine the starter placekicker will continue until the fall. 

Leaving nine spots, the staff went to work. As of the time of this article, six of those scholarships have been claimed. The first two came at positions with talent but depleted depth due to outgoing transfers. RB Marquez Cooper and LB Kyle Moretti are highly productive MAC transfers looking to finish their careers in sunny San Diego. 

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Next came two offensive linemen to bolster a depleted group that was missing two starters from the interior line during the entire spring. Joe Borjon (Arizona) and Nicholas Green (Tennessee State) will add to the tackle competition, pushing Christian Jones and Nate Williams, the two tackles on the first team in the spring. 

The remaining two commits came on Sunday at a position of need, EDGE, when Ezekial Larry (Yale) and Jared Badie (Illinois) committed onsite during their official visits. Badie, a 3-star recruit from Oswego East, IL, played OLB in his first two years at the school before moving to ILB and TE during spring camp last month. He is expected to play on the 4-man front for the Aztecs. 

With the transfer portal closed for new entrants as of May 1, there were approximately 3,843 players still in the portal looking for their next home, according to 247Sports. The Aztecs hope there are at least three who will play a vital role for the school in 2024. Defensive tackle and tight end are the areas expected to be targeted with the remaining scholarships. 

News & Notes

  • S Kyron White, who sat out last year due to what the school termed a “medical redshirt” despite not listing him on the roster, entered the transfer portal last week and will look for his next collegiate destination

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