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.
|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|
DINNER UNDER THE LIGHTS TAKES PLACE ON SATURDAY
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.