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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As kickoff approaches to the 2018 Sacramento State football season, Hornetsports.com will feature a preview on each position group between Aug. 20-27.


With 43 sacks last season, Sacramento State finished the year as the FCS leader with 3.91 sacks per game. The total shattered the school's previous Div. I-era single-season record of 33 and trailed only the 1986 mark of 53 all-time in program history. The Hornets had 14 players credited with at least one sack, including eight defensive linemen.

Senior George Obinna tied for the team lead with 12.5 tackles-for-loss in 2017, including 8.5 sacks. Obinna was named first team all-Big Sky following the year and has already been selected as a preseason All-American in multiple outlets. The Tracy, Calif., native features explosive speed and power and a frame of 6-foot-2, 230 pounds. Obinna enters the season tied for fourth in program history with 19.5 career sacks and needs 10 in 2018 to earn a share of the school record. His first TFL of the year will move him into the top 10 in the Hornet record book.

The interior of the line will once again include Seperini Aumua and Dariyn Choates. Aumua has started all 22 games of his career at defensive tackle. Last year he totaled 13 tackles, with 2.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks and recovered a pair of fumbles. Choates earned honorable mention all-Big Sky after making the move from an edge rusher to the inside of the line. The Seaside, Calif., native provided constant pressure as 9.5 of his 23 total tackles came behind the line of scrimmage. He ranked third on the team with five sacks and was fourth in TFLs.

The team also received significant contributions from Josiah Erickson, Killian Rosko, Elijah Chambers, Oscar Nava, Wyatt Hjelm and Sione Liku last season.  Erickson had three sacks in the first five games of last year before an injury knocked him out for the rest of the season. Rosko and Chambers both played as true freshmen. Rosko was credited with 18 total tackles (4.0 TFLs, 2.0 sacks) and Chambers had 10 stops.

Terrance Jackson, who played as a true freshman in 2015 before missing all of 2016 and most of 2017 with injuries, is expected to return to the group. Jackson could be paired with redshirt freshmen Dylan Petti, Spencer Smith and Josh Cooper.

The newcomers to the unit are headlined by David Perales who led all JC players in the state with 14 sacks in 2017 at Merced JC. Perales, who was the Golden Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year, will have three seasons of eligibility with the Hornets. True freshmen Joshua Lee and twins Jordan and Jett Stanley as well as transfer Blake Nydam round out the roster.


No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown/Previous School
40 Killian Rosko 6-4 250 So. Sonora, Calif./Sonara HS
44 Josiah Erickson 6-2 235 Jr. San Dimas, Calif./San Dimas HS
56 Dylan Petti 6-4 310 So. Riverside, Calif./Notre Dame HS
57 Elijah Chambers 6-2 270 So. San Jacinto, Calif./San Jacinto HS
62 Jordan Stanley 6-4 255 Fr. Brentwood, Calif./Heritage HS
63 Spencer Smith 6-1 285 Fr. Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS
69 Blake Nydam 6-2 240 Jr. Laton, Calif./Fresno City JC
72 Jett Stanley 6-4 255 Fr. Brentwood, Calif./Heritage HS
76 Joshua Lee 6-2 295 Fr. Moreno Valley, Calif./Canyon Springs HS
90 Josh Cooper 6-1 220 Fr. Bellflower, Calif./Downey HS
91 Seperini Togiai Aumua 6-0 300 Jr. Hayward, Calif./Hayward HS
92 Terrance Jackson 6-3 255 Jr. Inglewood, Calif./Santa Monica HS
93 Oscar Nava 6-2 320 Jr. Rohnert Park, Calif./Rancho Cotate HS
94 Wyatt Hjelm 6-4 245 So. Oakdale, Calif./Oakdale HS
95 Dariyn Choates 6-3 270 Jr. Seaside, Calif./Seaside HS
97 Sione Liku 6-2 235 So. Stockton, Calif./Brookside Christian HS
98 David Perales 6-3 230 So. Merced, Calif./Merced JC
99 George Obinna 6-2 240 Sr. Tracy, Calif./Tracy HS



Hornet football will host its annual Dinner Under the Lights on Saturday, Aug. 25, at 6 p.m. The event, which is held on the turf inside Hornet Stadium includes live and silent auctions with all proceeds benefiting the team's nutrition program. Tickets can be purchased HERE.