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 email@example.com, @EdwardLewisASR on Twitter, post questions on the message board or put questions on ASR's Facebook page.
David: We started the offseason with a lot of inexperience at WR. Now all our top guys are getting hurt. At what point do we hit the panic button on our wideout situation? Can Ryan Lindley turn our young guys into stars?
I've seen this question a lot since the news broke that receivers Dominique Sandifer and Jay Waddell would miss the rest of the season because of injuries.
However, I don't really understand the sky-is-falling reaction to it. I think you hit the panic button once there are physically no more receivers left on this roster. Having good wide receivers is important, but when you have the No. 1-ranked senior quarterback in the nation, a Heisman Trophy candidate running back, and a group of tight ends that had six touchdowns last season without its main starter Alston Umuolo (hip), who by the way had three touchdowns in 2009, you're going to be fine with whomever you put at WR, as long as he's at least Division I caliber.
And luckily for the Aztecs, they have a returning guy who's somewhat proven in Dylan Denso and they're bringing in two three-star receivers and one two-star one in the 2011 freshman class. Plus, there's the much-hyped Ezell Ruffin still on the roster. Everything should be fine out there, despite losing Sandifer and Waddell.
Kevin: Given SDSU basketball's historic 2010-2011 season, what are some of the long-term benefits to the program as a whole, and have you seen it affect the 2011 or 2012 recruiting classes at all?
This answer has a few parts to it. First, and probably most important, is the money aspect of it all. San Diego State sold out 13 of its 15 games at Viejas Arena last season, increased its average attendance from 7,227 fans per game in 2009-10 to 11,668 in 2010-11, and ranked first among all Division I universities in California (30th overall) in average home attendance. It also has only 1,000 chair back season ticket seats remaining as of two weeks ago; so the Aztecs are already seeing their 34-3 season carry over into tickets for the upcoming season. And all of that adds up to money, and for a cash-strapped CSU, that's always a good thing.
And second, the Aztecs have already seen their Sweet 16 season translate into recruits - and SDSU still has plenty of time to add a few more to the 2011 and 2012 classes. Forwards Dwayne Polee and J.J. O'Brien both passed on the Aztecs out of high school, but when they had the chance to transfer to a Sweet 16 program this time around, they did, picking SDSU over schools such as UNLV and USC. In fact, when Polee was asked why he chose the Aztecs, he told AztecSportsReport.com, "San Diego State had a real good season and made it to the Sweet 16. I liked watching them play."
And then of course there's 2012 three-star recruit Matt Shrigley, who's had an offer from SDSU sitting on his table for quite some time - maybe even more than a year and a half - and he finally decided to commit to the Aztecs just a few months after their magical season ended. Don't be surprised if you see a few more big-name recruits land at SDSU after the national exposure it got from that NCAA Tournament run.
Paul: Who's going to be a breakout player this year for SDSU football?
I actually got this question from the national guys at Rivals.com as well, who were doing a feature on the SDSU football team. My answer to them is my answer to you: Khalid Stevens.
He plays the "Aztec" position in this defense, and as I'm sure everybody knows by now, that's the position Brian Urlacher played when he was in Rocky Long's 3-3-5 defense at New Mexico. It's by far the prettiest position on the defense. The last two "Aztecs" were Andrew Preston and Nick Sandford. Preston was second on the team in tackles and first on the team in interceptions last year. Sandford was third on the team in tackles and tied for second in interceptions the year before that. I expect Stevens, who was eighth on the team last year in tackles despite playing behind Preston, to have a big year.