How Will Rashaad Penny Do In His 2nd NFL Season?

Speculations on the Seattle Seahawks decision to draft Rashaad Penny as their 27th overall pick, and what’s next for the SDSU alumni.

With the 2019 NFL Scouting combine, the top talent from this year’s NCAA class will be showcasing their skills in order to land themselves on a professional football team come time April. A couple of those prospects include junior defensive end Nick Bosa from Ohio State (L.A. Charger Joey Bosa’s brother), Christian Wilkins from the national championship winning Clemson Tigers, and the University of Alabama’s running back Josh Jacobs. However, I was left wondering how some of the prospects that went onto to be drafted from last season were holding up in the National Football League? One person stood out to me right away… Rashaad Penny.

Rashaad Penny, a San Diego State University graduate and former Heisman Trophy candidate, weighed 220 pounds and ran a 4.46 second 40 yard dash at the 2018 combine in Indianapolis. Though some scouts believed him to be a slow and heavy running back, I knew from my time watching him at San Diego State that he was going to be a threat at the professional level.

Expectations for Rashaad Penny were initially low, but then…

The Seattle Seahawks decided to trade one of their draft picks to acquire Rashaad Penny as the 27th overall pick. I guess San Diego State alumni make 1st round picks too! Immediately, there was buzz surrounding the Seahawks’ latest 1st round draft choice. Pete Prisco, a sports writer, did not take too kindly to the choice and gave the Seahawks a D grade.

“He’s a nice runner, but they have so many other needs and there are better backs. Weird.” Prisco said.

The pick started to make more sense to me as I thought about it. With the loss of Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls to free agency because of a plagued offensive line and lack of production in the run game, nobody was there to receive a handoff from Russel Wilson for Pete Carroll’s offense except for Chris Carson & Mike Davis (who combined for a lackluster 448 rushing yards all of 2017). I guess this is where head coach Pete Carroll thought Penny could fill in.

“He’s a fantastic competitor in that he’s applied himself so much to get his pass protection stuff right, which he knew he needed to do in terms of the scheme and physical side of it.”

Rashaad Penny has done a decent amount of work out of the gate for his new home team…

Over the course of the first four games, Penny managed to carry the ball 29 times. However, his carries were limited to Carson and Davis for the next 4 weeks and only received 54 rushing yards over that time span. I was afraid that Penny was starting to turn more into his SDSU teammate, Donnel Pumphrey, who got cut by the Philadelphia Eagles after just one season. However, that all changed when Penny went off against the Los Angeles Rams at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum where he ran 108 yards and scored first career rushing touchdown. Penny then went on to score one more touchdown later in the season against the San Francisco 49ers.

Let’s get some things straight. The Seahawks like to use the West Coast offense behind offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. They also utilize the run-pass option in which Russel Wilson can hand off in case of a blitz, or tuck and run to pick up a few yards if need be. I believe Rashaad Penny is perfect for this style of play. He can pass block while receivers such as Baldwin and Locket get open in the slot, or he can take the ball up the center of the field pick up some yardage on a draw play.

Will Rashaad Penny produce more in his second year?

I believe so. He is a big, versatile back that can run the ball and catch passes when he needs to. It appears that he has found a home in Seattle for the time being and I can’t see any reason why Coach Pete Carroll would want to get rid of him anytime soon. Unless the Seahawks trade up again to acquire another back in the draft or they pick up one in free agency this summer, I can’t see him getting less touches than he had the previous year.

I predict that Penny will at least match and/or increase his total of touchdowns in the 2019 season. I also believe he will double his all-purpose yards to bring him in somewhere between 800-900 yards. This is all being said if he stays healthy.

I guess only time will tell.

Written by: Jacob McCulloh

SDSU Lacrosse Falls 13-9 to Arizona

Aztec men’s lacrosse

The San Diego State men’s lacrosse team went up against one of their rivals on Saturday, losing 13-9 against the University of Arizona.

The Aztecs men’s lacrosse team welcomed Arizona’s Wildcats over at the Mesa in what was a very anticipated game. Arizona came into the game with a 2-2 record and the Aztecs came in to the day at 3-2.

SDSU came out firing quickly taking a 4-0 lead just 4 minutes into the first quarter. Junior Pat Greene scored three of the goals and assisted on the fourth. Arizona was able to adjust to the Aztec offense and eventually go on a 4 goal run of their own ending the first quarter at a 4-4 tie.

Arizona took a 7-4 lead into the second half.

The offense continued to look flat starting the second half as bad turnovers and missed shots began to pile up for the Aztecs. They were finally able to break through towards the end of the third quarter but Arizona answered with two quick goals making it 9-5 heading to the fourth quarter.

The Aztecs offense finally started to click after Arizona was given a 3 minute non releasable penalty early in the fourth. SDSU scored 3 goals on the man up advantage cutting the deficit to just one. A few minutes later Junior Ben Borglin ripped a shot beating the Arizona evening the score at 9.

After they tied the game the Aztecs started to play undisciplined, leading to bad penalties and Arizona was able to capitalize scoring 4 unanswered goals of their own. Arizona would hold on to this lead and ultimately beat the Aztecs by a final of 13-9. After the game Junior captain Pat Greene had this to say about the loss.

“It was a tough loss, we had a chance to come back and win but we just lost our composure a little at the end,” Greene said. “We have to make sure not to let our emotions get the better of us in these close games.”

The Aztecs are now 3-3 on the season and will be on the road for two critical conference games this weekend. The Aztecs will take on Claremont on Saturday and Concordia Irvine on Sunday. Concordia Irvine is led by former Aztec Coach Jesse Foss and are currently ranked 5th in the MCLA with a 5-0 record.

Written by: Anthony Romano

Baseball Preview: Aztecs baseball hosts Texas Tech

aztecs baseball high five

After a rain-shortened weekend in Fort Collins, the San Diego State Aztecs Baseball team is returning home to take on a couple of tough opponents.

Despite losing 9-5 last weekend to the Air Force Falcons on March 1st, San Diego State’s Aztecs Baseball senior shortstop Angelo Armenta went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. On the pitching side, Logan Boyer got the start and had a rough outing. In three innings, he gave up five runs (all earned), two walks and had four strikeouts.

As of Tuesday morning, the Aztecs baseball team are at the bottom of the Mountain West Conference with an overall record of 0-1. It’s still early in the season but SDSU will have to fix their rough start.

First up this week is the nationally-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders who played in last year’s College World Series.

This 14th ranked team will come to San Diego Tuesday at 6 p.m. and Wednesday at 1 p.m. The Aztecs last beat Texas Tech in 2015, with a 9-0 shutout victory. Besides that, the Aztecs are 1-13.

Freshman Aaron Eden will start Tuesday night against Texas Tech’s the Red Raiders. Eden has an 1-0 record. His last start came on Feb. 26 when he went 6.1 innings, only giving up two hits, two walks and 12 groundouts to the cross town rival, the University of San Diego.

Wednesday’s game is SDSU faculty and staff appreciation day as well as free SDSU sunglasses to the first 250 fans in attendance.

Over the weekend, the Aztecs will face their second Mountain West opponent of the season against the University of Nevada.

The games on Friday and Saturday are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. respectively. For Saturday’s game, the first 300 fans in attendance will receive a free SDSU Baseball t-shirt. Nevada is a big opponent for the Aztecs because the Wolfpack won the regular season title last year.

The defending Mountain West Tournament Aztecs (0-1 MW) are hoping to get their sixth MW title in seven years led by head coach Mark Martinez.

Written by: Breven Honda

SDSU Lacrosse Doubleheader Results Against UCLA and Georgia Tech

Aztec men’s lacrosse

The Aztec men’s lacrosse team (3-2) split two games on the road this weekend, beating UCLA on Friday 13-12 and losing to Georgia Tech 18-5 on Saturday.

vs. UCLA

The Aztec men’s lacrosse team played their first conference game of the season against UCLA. The Bruins went into half time leading 7-4 after a late run in the second quarter. Junior goalie Steven O’Sullivan credited the second half defensive success to the halftime adjustments.

“We knew we could play much better, they caught us slipping a few times leading to goals,” O’Sullivan said. “We just needed to refocus and come out with more energy and better communication which we did.”

In the second half the Aztecs came out with a fire lit underneath them. The offensive attack, led by junior attackmen Patrick Greene, tallied 4 goals and 3 assists in the second half. The defense shined in the second half for the Aztecs which seems to be the pattern early this season, allowing just 5 goals in the second half.

The game picked up intensity in the fourth quarter with big hits and aggressive play by both sides and the game came down to the final seconds. The defense was able to lock down UCLA and run out the clock on a 13-12 victory. When asked how the first conference win felt captain Patrick Greene said it’s a great start.

“It always feels good to win within the conference as these games are the ones we need to win,” Greene said. “Hopefully we can keep this energy up for the rest of the season and keep winning these big games.”

vs. Georgia Tech

Saturday was a tough day for the Aztecs as they headed to Mater Dei High School to take on the #8 team in the MCLA, Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech came into the game after beating the 4th ranked team Chapman 13-12 on Friday.

Tired legs seemed to plague the Aztecs, as they started off the game sloppy with unforced turnovers leading to easy goals for Georgia Tech. After one quarter Georgia Tech held a 7-0 lead and it did not get any better as Georgia Tech took a 15-1 lead into the half.

The Aztecs were able to salvage some pride in the second half as they held Georgia Tech to only 3 goals while adding in 4 of their own. Freshman goalie Graham Knapp had a very strong game as he replaced Steen O’Sullivan in the 2nd quarter. Knapp was able to make 12 saves in his first collegiate appearance. When asked about the tough loss junior Gage Webb says the team will move on from the defeat. “It was a tough loss, we know we are much better than what we showed. We are just going to regroup and fix what we did wrong and we will be good to go.”

The Aztecs resume game action on Saturday as they take on the Arizona Wildcats (2-2) at home with the game scheduled to start at 12pm.

Written by: Anthony Romano
Photo by: Anthony Romano