SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento State football team will take the field for the first time in the Troy Taylor era on Tuesday, March 26, with the first of 15 spring football practices. The team will practice from 7:45-10 a.m. on Tuesday morning inside Hornet Stadium.
Taylor was hired on Dec. 17 and completed his coaching staff over the last three months. While he will call the plays on offense, he will be joined by Assistant Head Coach Kris Richardson who will also coach the offensive line. Former Hornet Bobby Fresques returns as the quarterbacks coach and Jeremy LaPan joins the staff as the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. James Montgomery is the lone returning coach for the Hornets and will once again mentor the running backs. Tyler Osborne completes the offense staff as the wide receivers coach.
On the defensive side of the ball, Andy Thompson takes over as the defensive coordinator after spending the last 10 seasons leading the Northern Arizona defense. Cherokee Valeria is the team's passing game coordinator and oversees the secondary. Former Montana defensive coordinator Kraig Paulson will serve as the defensive line coach and Sam Cole will coach the safeties.
Quarterback Kevin Thomson returns for his third season as Sacramento State and second as a junior as he was granted two years of eligibility by the NCAA during the offseason. Thomson enters the year with 3,081 career passing yards which places him 14th in Sacramento State history. He currently holds the school record for career pass efficiency as well as yards per pass and ranks among the top 20 in completions, attempts and completion percentage.
Junior Elijah Dotson leads a loaded backfield for Sacramento State. Dotson was named first team all-Big Sky a year ago after rushing for 1,154 yards and averaging 6.2 yards per carry. His average of 115.4 yards per game was the third best in school history and he had five consecutive 100-yard games during the middle of the year. Bryant Perkinson, Isaiah Gable and Ja'Narrick James also return after seeing action a year ago.
Pierre Williams who led the team with 31 receptions, 553 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman highlights the returning receivers. Johnnie Rucker (17 rec., 274 yards, 2 TDs), Tao McClinton and Dewey Cotton also had receptions a year ago.
Up front, the offense will have four players who have all started games during their Hornet career. Wyatt Ming, who missed the final nine games of last season, returns after earning a medical hardship in 2018 and will likely return at right guard. Thomas Parker started all 10 games at guard as a redshirt freshman in 2018 and Nick Bianco filled in for Ming in the last nine contests. Brandon Bocaleoni earned a pair of starts at center and will contend for a starting position along with returner Brysen Klinefelter.
Defensively, former FCS All-American George Obinna returns after missing most of last season. Obinna was injured in the season opener against Saint Francis (Ill.), returned two weeks later only to be injured again at Northern Colorado. The senior is tied for fourth in school history with 19.5 sacks and is 11th with 27 career tackle-for-loss. The front also features five others who started games in 2019. Seperine Togiai Aumua is the most veteran of the group having started all 32 games of his career on the interior of the line. Dariyn Choates has 58 career stops, including 12.5 for loss in his three seasons and split time last season with Elijah Chambers. On the outside, the team returns David Perales, who started all 10 games, as well as Killian Rosko.
The linebacking corps will feature many new faces as all three primary starters from a year ago expired their eligibility. Marcus Bruce, who was an all-Big Sky selection in 2017 before missing most of last season, is the most experienced of the unit. Bruce had 57 stops in 2017 and also recovered four fumbles. Miguel Garcia also returns after missing nearly all of last season with an ankle injury. Garcia played in every game as a freshman where he had 35 stops in 2017.
Daron Bland and Caelan Barnes were the only Hornet to start all 10 games a year ago in the secondary. Bland, who is also a member of the Sacramento State track and field team, started every game at cornerback and ended the year with 44 tackles and a team-high five pass breakups. Caelan Barnes started nine games at free safety and one at corner. The Antelope HS product set a career high with 71 tackles last season which is the most among returners.
Devon Medeiros was also granted a sixth-year of eligibility by the NCAA during the offseason. Medeiros is tied for third with 26 career field goals and ranks fourth in the Hornet record book with 85 extra points.
April 11, 2019 SPRING BALL Q&A WITH TROY TAYLOR
March 25, 2019 FOOTBALL STARTS SPRING BALL ON TUESDAY MORNING
February 21, 2019 TYLER OSBORNE JOINS FOOTBALL STAFF AS WIDE RECEIVERS COACH
February 8, 2019 FOOTBALL ANNOUNCES 2019 SCHEDULE
February 5, 2019 FOOTBALL ADDS 10 MORE TO 2019 SIGNING CLASS
January 30, 2019 FOOTBALL TO HOLD SIGNING DAY CELEBRATION ON FEB. 6
January 16, 2019 FOOTBALL ADDS MARCUS HAWKINS TO 2019 SIGNING CLASS
January 10, 2019 FOUR FOOTBALL PLAYERS RECEIVE NCAA CLOCK EXTENSION
January 8, 2019 TAYLOR ANNOUNCES ADDITIONS TO FOOTBALL COACHING STAFF
December 20, 2018 FOOTBALL EARLY SIGNING CLASS GROWS TO THREE WITH ADDITION OF TIGHT END
December 18, 2018 DOTSON EARNS ALL-AMERICA HONORS FROM HERO SPORTS
December 17, 2018 TROY TAYLOR NAMED HEAD FOOTBALL COACH
November 26, 2018 SEARS WILL NOT RETURN AS HEAD FOOTBALL COACH IN 2019
November 20, 2018 DOTSON NAMED TO ALL-BIG SKY FIRST TEAM; TAPPIN EARNS HONORABLE MENTION
November 17, 2018 FOOTBALL DROPS CAUSEWAY CLASSIC TO #9 AGGIES
November 16, 2018 CAUSEWAY CLASSIC RELOCATED TO MACKAY STADIUM IN RENO
November 13, 2018 FOOTBALL GAME AGAINST NAU OFFICIALLY CANCELLED
November 13, 2018 65th CAUSEWAY CLASSIC UP NEXT FOR FOOTBALL ON SATURDAY
November 10, 2018 UPDATE: FOOTBALL GAME CANCELLED AGAINST NORTHERN ARIZONA
November 6, 2018 FOOTBALL FACES NORTHERN ARIZONA FOR SENIOR DAY ON SATURDAY
November 3, 2018 YOUTH TAKES CENTER STAGE IN FOOTBALL LOSS AT #4 WEBER STATE
October 30, 2018 FOOTBALL TRAVELS TO No. 4 WEBER STATE ON SATURDAY
October 27, 2018 ANOTHER BIG GAME FROM DOTSON BUT FOOTBALL FALLS 41-14
October 23, 2018 FOOTBALL HOSTS PORTLAND STATE FOR SECOND STRAIGHT HOME GAME
October 21, 2018 FOOTBALL FALLS IN HOMECOMING GAME AGAINST NORTH DAKOTA
October 15, 2018 FOOTBALL WELCOMES NORTH DAKOTA FOR HOMECOMING ON SATURDAY
October 13, 2018 FOOTBALL SEES EARLY LEAD SLIP AWAY IN LOSS AT SOUTHERN UTAH
October 9, 2018 FOOTBALL LOOKS TO BOUNCE BACK IN ROAD GAME AT SOUTHERN UTAH
October 6, 2018 FOOTBALL CAN'T OVERCOME CAL POLY RUSHING ATTACK IN 41-27 SETBACK
October 5, 2018 GAMEDAY GUIDE: FOOTBALL VS. CAL POLY
October 2, 2018 FOOTBALL RETURNS HOME TO FACE CAL POLY ON SATURDAY
September 22, 2018 FOOTBALL GAMEDAY: HOW TO WATCH TODAY'S GAME
September 22, 2018 FOOTBALL FALLS SHY IN UPSET BID AT NO. 19 MONTANA, 41-34
September 18, 2018 FOOTBALL HEADS TO No. 19 MONTANA FOR BIG SKY OPENER ON SATURDAY
September 17, 2018 HOOLIHAN NAMED NATIONAL AND BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
September 15, 2018 FOOTBALL FIGHTS BACK FOR 28-25 ROAD WIN AT NORTHERN COLORADO
September 8, 2018 FOOTBALL PUSHES SAN DIEGO STATE TO THE LIMIT IN CLOSE LOSS
September 4, 2018 ROAD TEST AGAINST FBS SAN DIEGO STATE UP NEXT FOR FOOTBALL
September 1, 2018 COMPLETE TEAM EFFORT CARRIES FOOTBALL TO 55-7 WIN IN SEASON OPENER
August 30, 2018 MEDEIROS NAMED TO FRED MITCHELL AWARD WATCH LIST
August 28, 2018 FOOTBALL OPENS SEASON AGAINST ST. FRANCIS ON SATURDAY
August 27, 2018 FOOTBALL POSITION PREVIEW: QUARTERBACKS
August 27, 2018 GAMEDAY ENHANCEMENTS MADE AT HORNET STADIUM FOR FOOTBALL SEASON
August 26, 2018 FOOTBALL POSITION PREVIEW: DEFENSIVE BACKS
August 25, 2018 FOOTBALL POSITION PREVIEW: WIDE RECEIVERS
August 24, 2018 FOOTBALL POSITION PREVIEW: LINEBACKERS
August 23, 2018 FOOTBALL POSITION PREVIEW: RUNNING BACKS
August 22, 2018 FOOTBALL POSITION PREVIEW: DEFENSIVE LINE
August 21, 2018 FOOTBALL POSITION PREVIEW: OFFENSIVE LINE/TIGHT ENDS
August 20, 2018 FOOTBALL POSITION PREVIEW: SPECIALISTS
August 15, 2018 CW31 TO AIR ALL FOOTBALL HOME GAMES IN 2018
August 3, 2018 FOOTBALL HOLDS FIRST FULL-TEAM PRACTICE ON MONDAY
July 15, 2018 SEARS, ANDERSON, RATLIFF TO APPEAR AT BIG SKY KICKOFF