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Our twitter account gets about 2-3 recruiting questions per day and since our short hiatus we have gotten some interesting ones that we thought we would address publicly.
The answers here within are to the best of our knowledge. We have compiled our information from as many sources in order to share with you what we know. As always in recruiting, things change and what is true today may not be tomorrow, so if you want to be up to date feel free to direct message us on Twitter or leave a comment on Facebook and we will gladly talk Aztecs with you.
So without further ado, here are the questions:
Q: “Why don’t the Aztecs offer every five-star [player] in California? It wouldn’t hurt. Why is SDSU only after lower ranked guys?” Aaron M.
A: This is a two-part question and essentially both answers are related. First you do not offer every five-star guy because you do not want to spend your time recruiting guys that are not interested in San Diego State. There are reasons why a player would not be interested in the Aztecs, not any of them good in my opinion, such as having a dream school, location, searching for the biggest offer, etc. The Aztecs coaches speak to these kids’ coaches and try to put out realistic offers. Spending time and resources on a player that you will not get could hurt you with a less regarded kid who wants to come to San Diego State as they might feel like they are a second or third option. Nobody wants to feel like a consolation prize.
In regards to why the staff is after “lower ranked guys” I would have to respond with they are and they are not. They are skipping a lot of highly ranked players because competition has grown within California schools that play in Power Five leagues that these high end recruits are looking for. There are many high-major options on the west coast that did not have a strong recruiting presence in the past. California, Southern California, even UCLA were not great recruiting teams in the state of California, which helped the Aztecs. Now all of them are high-major programs that focus primarily in California. The Aztecs staff is looking to make smart evaluations and find players that they can develop into high-level players.
Finally you cannot believe all the rankings you see, you have to trust the coaching staff. I have been to events where I am sitting next to national scouts from Rivals, Scout, 24/7 etc. and I have seen them ignore players doing well in a game and focus on the “star” player they came to see. To me they focus on a handful of guys and assign stars based on coaches’ offers for the rest of the lot. Example: Adam Seiko was a two-star prospect when he committed to the Aztecs, however he finished a three-star prospect everywhere except ESPN. Did his game change dramatically? Did scouts pay more attention to him? Nope, they were all still focused on Marvin Bagley III.
Q: “What new players will be offered? Logan Johnson?” Darren C.
A: A little unclear if the question is asking for an update on Johnson or will he get offered next, but let me answer the question either way. Johnson does not have an offer, however his mom tweeted a response that the Aztecs were highly interested. We have heard that he has been under the radar and it seems like he is on his way to earning an offer. I think he is one player that will likely get one if he continues playing well in front of the coaching staff. Coach Brian Dutcher has been out to see him recently and if the head coach is there you know that it is getting serious.
Another player that could be getting an offer would be Andre Kelly. This is another name that you may have heard before as Ruben Meza did a story on him and Mark Zeigler mentioned him in a recruiting piece. My only concern with him getting an offer is that the Aztecs have so many offers out already to big men that they may hold off on offering Kelly because they may feel like they are close on some others.
Q: “What do you think the odds are for Matt Mitchell to commit now that he's for sure eligible for 2017? Any whispers in the grapevine about where he's leaning? How would he fit in?” Brian B.
A: If I had to put the odds for Mitchell I would say 60%. Let me break down why. His visit went well. Also according to information that I heard is on Rivals is that Utah’s Rivals staff felt like he was a lock to go there and that now they are about 50% (not sure if we make up the other 50). On top of that I heard that distance is an issue and Utah is pretty far. Finally, Mitchell himself has mentioned that he would like to stay close to home. The fact that he is waiting until after the live period to commit worries me because he will likely garner a lot of attention if he continues playing well.
The staff has been on him with Coach Dutcher following him around, however I worry that his high-level play may lead to some late offers. He is playing with some heavily recruited teammates that will attract attention; if he gets another offer from a high-major program in a bigger conference will he take it? As a reminder he does not have any more official visits to take, so if he tripped anywhere else he would have to do so on his own dime.
Mitchell is the type of scorer that you put on the floor and label him a position later. He could play the two or the three, however he does not fit any of the molds. I honestly do not know how he fits on the court, but I am sure that the coaches do. Plus he is too much of a talent, especially at this point in recruiting to not go after him.
Q: “What players can we actually get for 2018?” Dave F.
A: Honestly I feel best about Joel and Nathan Mensah and Mason Forbes. I had some strong information that San Diego State was sitting well with Joel and Nathan Mensah a couple of months ago and I have not heard much other than their everything between them and the Aztecs is still going well. So my confidence has dropped for both, but I still feel good about the Aztecs in their recruitment. I have Joel Mensah at 80% in our Commitment Probability Index (CPI), while I have Nathan Mensah at a 70%.
When it comes to Forbes I like the Aztecs in his recruitment due to a recent Scout article where he was quoted as saying that San Diego State was one of his top schools and that he planned to return on campus, possibly on an official visit. When we spoke with him we also got the sense that he was sure to return to the Mesa and that he was extremely serious about San Diego State.
We hope that our responses may have answered any questions you have. If the answers still left you with questions please reach out to us. We love to communicate with Aztecs fans.