The top 10 players returning to the San Diego State Aztecs for the 2020 college football season.
Important to note that this list is based upon last year's data and film from on each specific team as well as judgment based upon the player's position both his skill and the level of talent around him at the said position and influential cohorts. Positional value also plays a large factor in these rankings as does the offensive or defensive scheme.
1. Tariq Thompson, CB
2. Dwayne Johnson Jr., S
3. Cameron Thomas, DI
4. Keyshawn Banks, DE
5. William Dunkle, G
6. Darren Hall, CB
7. Jesse Matthews, WR
8. Kyle Spalding, T
9. Zachary Thomas, T
10. Kobe Smith, WR
Honorable Mention: Jacob Cabra, T
This secondary, anchored by the duo at the top here, should once again be a feared group. If they don't scare people, then Thomas on the inside rushing at your quarterback certainly will. Johnson had a bevy of plays on the ball last year as well as multiple forced incompletions that didn't hit the stat sheet. Thompson, on the other hand, had multiple splash plays in what felt like every game.
Despite Luq Barcoo taking all the fame with his nine picks (and all the opportunities), Thompson still recorded four picks and another five pass breakups to his credit a year ago. He can fly all over the field and also did a great job of allowing very little after the catch.
Banks leads the team in returning QB pressure, just a lone hurry above Thomas on the inside, and together, they should power a feared pass-rush unit. Thomas is a powerful man while Banks is a strong but sneaky fast rusher on the outside. He has 'take-over' potential in his game.
Hall on the outside at cornerback adds an incredibly talented ball-hawking player who allowed just over 50% of the passes thrown his way to be caught and had double-digit plays on the ball himself.
The Aztecs are heavy on the returning interior on the opposite side of the ball, returning Dunkle (880 snaps), Spalding (769), Thomas (676) and Capra (517) all along their offensive line. They're all extremely large individuals and great pass protectors and will anchor a young offense this fall.