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Aztecs football: Lawson out as DL coach; two more 2019 recruits commit

01/29/2019, 6:45pm PST
By Kirk Kenney

Defensive line coach Earnie Lawson works with #58 Alex Barrett during Monday afternoon practice at San Diego State University.

San Diego State defensive line coach Ernie Lawson will not be returning for the 2019 season, according to several sources inside and outside the SDSU football program.

Lawson’s departure had been rumored for the past week. On Tuesday, his Twitter handle, @CoachLawsonSDSU, no longer existed. It is not yet known whether Lawson officially resigned or was fired.

SDSU head coach Rocky Long is waiting until any and all coaching staff changes are completed before commenting. Lawson did not return a message inquiring about the situation.

Lawson, who played at SDSU from 2007-10, spent the past three seasons as the Aztecs’ defensive line coach. He coached previously at the high school level in California and Texas after spending two seasons as a graduate assistant at Michigan under former SDSU head coach Brady Hoke.

Lawson was SDSU’s co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, when he helped the Aztecs to reach a bowl game for the first year of a streak that has reached a school-record nine straight years.

SDSU recently received a verbal commitment from Liloa Kapiko, a 6-foot-5, 233-pound defensive lineman from Honolulu’s St. Louis High. Kapiko was unaware of Lawson’s departure, but said that would not impact his commitment. He plans to make his commitment official when the NCAA’s regular signing period begins Feb. 6.

Recruiting update

Kapiko, who also plays power forward on the St. Louis basketball team, is regarded among the top prospects from Hawaii after helping the Crusaders to a 12-0 football season. Basketball has helped him develop a quick first step that has been particularly useful as an edge rusher.

In addition to Kapiko, the Aztecs also received a commitment in recent days from Santa Ana High running back/defensive back Patrick McMorris.

McMorris had 2,464 all-purpose yards during the 2018 season, including rushing for 1,801 yards with 23 touchdowns.

Noah Tumblin, a dual-threat quarterback from Mira Mesa High, tweeted Saturday during his visit that he received an offer from SDSU. He has not tweeted a commitment, however. Tumblin passed for 1,865 yards and 20 touchdowns while rushing for 966 yards and 15 TDs for the Marauders.

Junior college transfer Jordon Brookshire, a dual-threat quarterback who led Oakland’s Laney College to a California state title last month, has officially enrolled and begun classes, allowing him to participate in spring workouts.

The Aztecs expect to sign 5-6 players next week after signing 14 players during last month’s early period.

Spring football

SDSU is scheduled to open spring football workouts March 4, two weeks later than the start date the last three years.

The change is in coordination with the academic calendar. Long prefers to complete the spring workouts without the interruption of spring break, which was early in the calendar in recent years but is set to start April 1.

Workouts will return to the SDSU football practice fields after being conducted last year at the former Chargers Park facility while the Aztecs’ locker room was being remodeled.

kirk.kenney@sduniontribune.com / on Twitter: @sdutkirKDKenney

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