“Aztecs Football-Doing Well-Anyone Care?”
San Diego State football is at a modern all time high in terms of success on the football field.
In the community, not so much as a whisper. The same across campus.
What a shame.
Rocky Long completed another banner recruiting drive on Wednesday, despite a changing landscape in recruiting rules, and a loss of some significant coaches on his staff.
The Aztecs signed 23-recruits, including the biggest haul of local players, 11-in-all, in decades. They had a tremendous run in early December, landing, signing, and keeping some key guys other bigger schools would have swooped in on.
In fact a most honored local high school class, headlined by OT-Will Dunkle of Chula Vista-Eastlake….St. Augustine LB-Andrew Alves….San Marcos Knights star LB-Josh Bornes….TJ Sullivan-the quality wide receiver from Mt Carmel….and Helix QB-Carson Baker, want to wear Red & Black.
State wound up with another addition from Arizona, a decommit from Boise State, Zidane Thomas, who was recruited by Power 5-schools. He brings credentials like (4,412Y) rushing and 44-TDs, and joins a program that is becoming known as ‘Running Back U’.
But there is a stigma, a cloud, that just won’t go away from the San Diego State program. Where’s the buzz, where’s the following?
At his Wednesday press conference, Long preached about the success of the program, the record, the bowl wins, the players who wind up in NFL camps, those headed to the NFL combine, and those in the Senior Bowl.
It was met with a yawn across campus, and a blah from the working media.
Aside from the 1-UT beat writer, this columnist, and the student newspaper Daily Aztec, no one else in the active media was there.
None of the 12-guys who do sports-talk radio in town were on hand.
None of the 3-newspaper columnists.
Not one of the 11-anchors-reporters to do TV sports in town.
Just a gaggle of cameramen, to roll video, and that’s all.
In a city of 3.1M, with over 110,000 alumni living here, there just is not any energy when it comes to SDSU football, and that is hard to believe, hard to buy into, hard to understand.
A football program that sells just a shade over 25,000-tickets for home games, tried to package itself 1-City-1 Team, that fell on deaf ears, after the Chargers left town.
It’s not USC, UCLA. It’s not the Pac 12-Conference. It’s not fans wearing their colors and gear walking across the campus on a sunny warm afternoon.
I wouldn’t expect them to sell 60,000 tickets the first day for the spring football game, like they did at Nebraska. But I’d sure expect a lot more in a so-called major league sports city.
But you’d want more for this coach, considering Long has gone (64-29)…has taken the school to 7-bowl games in a row…3-postseason wins….and has had the leading rusher in the nation two years in a row, thanks to DJ Humphrey and Rashaad Penny.
Sadly, despite the great leadership, his personality, and the record, no one seems to care.
Somebody has to explain that to me, for that coach, this program, those kids, deserve a lot better than they get in this town, from fans, friends, alums, and even the media.
Does anybody care? Why not?