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Small School Scouting: Aztecs Win in 2OT

The San Diego State Aztecs knocked off San Jose State 19-13 in double overtime. They ended regulation tied at six.

I looked at the prospects in this game, as well, as, the main prospect in a Big Sky showdown between Montana State and Weber State.


Junior WR Jesse Matthews jumped out to me last season for multiple reasons. Probably the biggest reason was that he wears the number 45. Matthews is also a really talented player. Against SJSU, he caught four passes for 54 yards. In both overtime periods, it was excellent concentration and hands that enabled Matthews to come away with both of the Aztecs’ touchdowns.

Senior TE Daniel Bellinger has tremendous size (6’6” 255). He is a great inline blocker. Bellinger isn’t going to stretch the middle of the field too often. Against the Spartans, he had five catches for 34 yards.

Senior corner Tayler Hawkins makes excellent breaks on the football. He has good length and closing speed. Hawkins made six tackles (five solos) and broke up three passes.

I would be remiss if didn’t mention Aztecs junior kicker/punter Matt Araiza. As a punter, he completely bombed an 86-yard punt that traveled at least 70 yards in the air. Araiza also nailed a 53-yard field goal.


My favorite prospect for San Jose State is easily tight end Derrick Deese, Jr. He is the son of former 49ers offensive lineman, Derrick Deese. He is a big target and does a great job of presenting himself to his quarterback. Deese made several plays to give SJSU a chance. He finished with six catches for 113 yards on 14 targets.

Senior QB Nick Starkel missed another game with an injury. He was always going to be fringe draftable but now he is likely heading towards camp arm status.


Troy Anderson has been on my radar for a few seasons but injuries have kept him out of action. He now seems fully healthy again and you see it in his athleticism. Anderson is silky smooth in coverage and he diagnoses plays quickly. He flies to the football.  Anderson finished the win against Weber State with ten tackles (five solos) and a fumble recovery.

Anderson has had an interesting journey to this point. He arrived at MSU playing both RB and LB. Then in 2018, Anderson became a QB, winning Big Sky offensive layer of the year. He wasn’t a great passer but he was a great runner. Anderson ran for 1412 yards and 21 TDs that season. Then in 2019, he moved back to linebacker while also playing some fullback.

Anderson is a great athlete and his instincts and skill level are going to get him paid a long time in the NFL as a star special teams player.

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