2013 SDSU Football Season Preview: Tight Ends

Adam Roberts blocks

San Diego State tight end Adam Roberts, who caught the game-winning two-point conversion against Nevada last season, returns in 2013. (Ernie Anderson/SDSU Media Relations)

Who’s gone

  • TE D.J. Shields
  • TE Hunter Hewitt
  • TE Gavin Escobar

Projected starter (2012 stats)

  • TE #44 Adam Roberts – Jr., 6-foot-3, 235 pounds (3 catches, 23 yards, one touchdown)

Key reserves/Players to watch

  • TE #87 Aaron Boesch – RS So., 6-foot-5, 230 pounds – After using his redshirt season last year, expect Boesch to see the field often in 2013. The athleticism and skills are there, but how much he plays will depend on the strength and size he is able to gain in the offseason. If he is able to get stronger and add 10-15 pounds, look for him to be a solid contributor on offense and special teams next year.
  • TE David Wells – Fr., 6-foot-5, 230 pounds – True freshman rarely come in and play right away at San Diego State, but losing three players from a position group is just as rare. A three-star recruit, look for Wells to show up in fall camp and compete for playing time immediately next season. With an impressive skill set and a good combination of size and speed, Wells has a legitimate chance to make an impact as a true freshman.
  • TE #85 Dominique Bierria – Jr., 6-foot-5, 215 pounds – A relatively unknown recruit, Bierria comes from Santa Monica City College and Carson High School in Los Angeles. At 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, he is a big target, but will need to add weight if he wants to play at the Division 1 level. Bierria will join the Aztecs in the spring and participate in spring practices, and his ability to join the team immediately will dramatically increase his chances of playing next season. Keep an eye on him throughout the offseason to track his progress.

2013 Commitments
San Diego State has two tight end commits in the 2013 recruiting class. David Wells and junior college transfer Dominique Bierria are expected to sign with the Aztecs, and both will make a push for playing time next season.

Analysis
In the past, San Diego State’s offensive coordinators have relied heavily on two-tight end sets. With newly hired offensive coordinator Bob Toledo, it is unsure if this will be the case.

Toledo plans to run a pro-style offensive, similar to what former offensive coordinators Andy Ludwig and Al Borges ran, but with three tight ends leaving, he will likely cater his play-calling tendencies to his strengths.

While there is plenty of talent among the tight end group in 2013, experience is lacking, as Roberts is the only returning tight end who played last season. This will likely lead to fewer two-tight end formations and more sets with a fullback or a third wide receiver. The Aztecs won’t abandon the tight end completely, however, as Roberts, Boesch and likely one or two others will see playing time next season. Expect Wells, Bierria, and redshirt junior Mike Miller to compete for playing time in fall camp. Also, don’t be surprised if the coaches flirt with the idea of moving former tight end and current defensive lineman Robert Craighead back to his original position. If this switch occurs, look for Craighead, a redshirt sophomore, to be in the mix for immediate playing time as well.

One thing to keep an eye on is the involvement of Toledo with the tight ends from a coaching standpoint. Because it already has the maximum number of assistants, San Diego State will not be able to hire a tight ends coach once again in 2013. The Aztecs were able to get away with not having a designated tight ends coach in years past because of the depth and experience of the tight ends, but things will be different next season.

Last season, Ludwig was listed as the tight ends coach and first-year graduate assistant Dorian Keller helped out with the position. With a young and inexperienced group, it is imperative that Toledo pays close attention to the tight ends throughout the offseason, as they will need his wisdom and expertise to progress and improve.

Prediction
Wells or Bierria will see significant playing time in their first season with the Aztecs in 2013.


2013 Season Preview: Home
2013 Season Preview: Defensive Line
2013 Season Preview: Linebackers
2013 Season Preview: Cornerbacks
2013 Season Preview: Safeties
2013 Season Preview: Special Teams
2013 Season Preview: Wide Receivers
2013 Season Preview: Running Backs

Stay tuned tomorrow for a preview on the offensive lineman of the 2013 San Diego State Aztecs


LINKS:
Hunter Hewitt: WordPress – http://hunterhewitt.wordpress.com
Hunter Hewitt: Blogger – http://hunterhewitt.blogspot.com
Hunter Hewitt: LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/hunterhewitt
Hunter Hewitt: Twitter – http://twitter.com/hunterhewitt89
Hunter Hewitt: Facebook – http://facebook.com/hunterhewittSDSU
Hunter Hewitt: About.me – http://about.me/hunterhewitt
Hunter Hewitt: BrandYourself – http://hunterhewitt.brandyourself.com/
Hunter Hewitt: GoAztecs.com Player Profile – http://goaztecs.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/hewitt_hunter00.html
Hunter Hewitt: SDSU News Team Story: http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news.aspx?s=73846


by Hunter Hewitt

GO AZTECS

Meet the Aztecs: Q&A with Aaron Boesch

Photo Credit: Ernie Anderson/SDSU Media Relations

The 17th in a daily series of Q&A’s with the 2012 signing class.

Aaron Boesch is a 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end from Oak Harbor, Wash. He spent his prep career at Oak Harbor High School, where he lettered three years in football. Boesch rarely left the field in high school, as he also played defensive end and punter.

Following high school, Boesch attended Santa Monica Junior College, where he helped lead the team to their first conference championship in 20 years. After an impressive first season, several colleges expressed interest in the athletic tight end. Boesch eventually chose San Diego State, and was able to enroll for the spring semester in 2012 and join the team for spring practices. He will wear No. 87 for the Aztecs.

GoAztecs.com player profile
Rivals recruiting page

 

Q: How has your experience at San Diego State been so far?
A: The experience has been really good. The coaches are teaching me a lot and I’m learning from the upperclassmen so that’s great.

Q: What do you like so far about the city of San Diego?
A: I like that the weather is nice almost all the time. Being from Seattle it’s a lot different, the weather is not as nice.

Q: How did the offseason workouts go for you?
A: They were tough but the whole team is getting a lot stronger. I can feel that I am getting stronger and I’m gaining some weight.

Q: What is your major and what type of career aspirations do you have outside of football?
A: I’m majoring in construction engineering. I’d like to work in the field of engineering.

Q: What do you like to do during your spare time?
A: I like to go the beach. We don’t have beaches like this in Washington.

Q: Who are your favorite professional sports teams?
A: The Green Bay Packers are my favorite football team and the Oklahoma City Thunder are my favorite basketball team because they used to be the Seattle Supersonics.

Q: Is there any athlete that you look up to or try to model your game after?
A: Definitely Rob Gronkowski.

Q: If you weren’t a football player, what sport would you be playing?
A: Either baseball or basketball.

Q: What has the transition from junior college to Division 1 football been like?
A: It’s a lot different. It’s a lot higher tempo. There are still some big kids in junior college football but they are lot faster and stronger in Division 1.

Q: Being that you’re from Washington, how big is the season opener against the University of Washington for you?
A: I’m very excited for it. I have a lot of friends and family up there. I’m just hoping I can prove myself and get some playing time on the field.

by Hunter Hewitt

GO AZTECS