One of the Wolf Pack’s biggest questions is how to replace the experience they lost in the defensive backfield, and while they have lots of promising options to choose from, safety Tyson Williams seems likely to lock down one of the open spots. He made just one start but appeared in ten games last fall, racking up 16 solo tackles, so if he can flash the playmaking ability that fans grew accustomed to from Asauni Rufus and Dameon Baber, he could grow into a defensive anchor for the foreseeable future.
In a conference suddenly filled with very good specialists, it might have been very easy to overlook Andrew Shelley last year. He connected on 7-of-8 field goal tries and was 3-of-3 on attempts of 40-plus yards, but missed five extra points. Freshman struggles among kickers are typical, but the step forward he can make could be critical for an offense that may scuffle often.
San Diego State
Though many expect the running game to improve upon last year’s inconsistency, the Aztecs will still have to take to the air sometime. With Tim Wilson Jr.’s medical retirement, the mantle of “leading returning receiver” now falls to Ethan Dedeaux, but that may not be a bad thing.
Among SDSU receivers to have at least 20 targets in a season across the last four years, Dedeaux’s 62.9% catch rate is the third-best overall. He also had a Success Rate of over 50%, so there’s a decent chance he can develop into exactly the kind of possession receiver the Aztecs will need to complement a revamped ground attack.