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.
The majority of the offensive line returns for the team, including three starters from a year ago and five who have started games during their career. Last season's team success can be directly linked to the improved play by the line. The Hornets allowed just 16 sacks in 11 games and averaged 5.0 yards per rush attempt.
Senior Ivan Espiritu anchors the line at center. Espiritu is the only offensive player to start all 22 games over the last two seasons. The Reedley, Calif., native cracked the starting lineup as a sophomore at right guard before moving to center last year.
Wyatt Ming made a seamless transition from the defensive line to the offensive line last season. Ming started the final 10 games for the team at right guard and was named honorable mention all-Big Sky.
Taylor Tappin completes the trio of senior starters. Tappin was the starting right tackle in all 11 games a year ago and has 15 career starts.
Nick Bianco and Ruben Meza have both earned starts during their career and could contend for the open positions vacated by the graduated Jonathan Bade and Lake Aiono. Bianco started one game at left guard in 2017 while Meza has 19 career starts.
The next wave of Hornet linemen includes sophomore Thomas Parker who played in the final four games last season as a true freshman. Sophomore Brandon Boccaleoni will likely back up Espiritu at center for the second consecutive season. Returning redshirts include Troy Stiefel, Brandon Weldon and Kaiden Henry. The team also added junior college transfers Peter Vadasz and Brysen Klinefelter.
Sacramento State's roster features five tight ends — its highest total in recent memory. While the numbers provide the team options, none of the five caught a pass for the Hornets in 2017.
John McGill is slated to return to the field after redshirting last season following an injury. McGill has 17 career receptions and caught a touchdown in each of his first two seasons.
Calvin Grover started three games in the last half of 2017 but did not have a reception.
Martin Robles returns for his third season with the team and will be joined by redshirt freshman Tysean Prysock, three-star recruit Jarrell Anderson of Spanaway, Wash., and converted running Marshel Martin.
|3||Jarrell Anderson (TE)||6-4||240||Fr.||Spanaway, Wash./Rainier Beach HS|
|30||Marshel Martin (TE)||6-2||200||Fr.||Vallejo, Calif./St. Patrick-St. Vincent HS|
|41||Tysean Prysock (TE)||6-1||210||Fr.||Santa Clarita, Calif./Salesian HS|
|50||Brandon Boccaleoni||6-3||300||So.||Rohnert Park, Calif./Rancho Cotate HS|
|51||Taylor Tappin||6-4||310||Sr.||Windsor, Calif./Windsor HS|
|53||Ivan Espiritu||6-2||295||Sr.||Reedley, Calif./Reedley HS|
|59||Wyatt Ming||6-2||320||Sr.||Acampo, Calif./St. Mary's HS|
|60||Nick Bianco||6-4||300||Jr.||Visalia, Calif./Redwood HS|
|65||Peter Vadasz||6-4||290||Jr.||Los Gatos, Calif./De Anza JC|
|66||Kaiden Henry||6-5||350||Fr.||Yuba City, Calif./Yuba City HS|
|67||Parker Kernek||6-4||275||Fr.||Castaic, Calif./Valencia HS|
|69||Ishveer Gill||6-1||250||Fr.||Yuba City, Calif./Yuba City HS|
|70||Kyle Swinford||6-5||260||Fr.||Sacramento, Calif./Bradshaw Christian HS|
|71||Troy Stiefel||6-5||290||Fr.||Yorba Linda, Calif./Yorba Linda HS|
|73||Ulisis Nunez||6-2||315||So.||Tulare, Calif./Tulare Union HS|
|74||Ruben Meza||6-4||290||Sr.||Murrietta, Calif./Murrietta Mesa HS|
|77||Brysen Klinefelter||6-0||305||Jr.||El Dorado, Calif./Sacramento City JC|
|78||Brandon Weldon||6-3||300||Fr.||El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS|
|79||Thomas Parker||6-3||310||So.||Coto de Caza, Calif./Santa Margarita HS|
|86||Calvin Grover||6-4||225||So.||Modesto, Calif./Downey HS|
|88||John McGill||6-3||230||Jr.||Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure HS|
|89||Martin Robles||6-4||260||So.||Live Oak, Calif./Live Oak 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.