On Tuesday, the NFL announced that four San Diego State Aztecs will attend the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis from February 27 to March 5. With the official announcement, the Aztecs were able to achieve an impressive feat. Their four combine invitees are tied for most among non-Power 5 programs, according to goaztecs.com. The Aztecs also had more invites than eight teams from the Big Ten, six teams from the ACC, and five teams from the SEC.
RB Rashaad Penny, DB Kameron Kelly, FB Nick Bawden, and TE David Wells were able to secure invites following impressive collegiate careers. Bawden and Penny are scheduled to work out from February 28 to March 2, Wells is scheduled to work out from March 1-3, and Kelly is scheduled to work out from March 3-5.
In the 2017 regular season, Penny took home both the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year awards. His most recent special teams award was his third in a row. The Norwalk native returned 15 kickoffs for 459 yards and two touchdowns in the regular season. He also returned two punts; with one of them being a 70-yard score.
On top of his impressive special teams feats, Penny led the nation with 2,027 rushing yards, 168.9 rushing yards per game, 2,698 all-purpose yards, and 224.8 all-purpose yards per game in the regular season. He was also second in total touchdowns (24) and third in rushing touchdowns (19) as well. Penny topped off his incredible campaign with one of the more memorable performances in the entire bowl season. In the Armed Forces Bowl vs. Navy, Penny ran for 221 yards and four touchdowns on only 14 carries.
Kameron Kelly played most of his career at safety before deciding to make the move to cornerback prior to the 2017 season. It turned out to be a good decision. He was named first-team all Mountain West in 2017; finishing the season with 67 tackles, three interceptions, two sacks, and eight pass breakups. Kelly finished his Aztecs career with 10 interceptions, which is good for 10th in program history.
Nick Bawden was ranked by ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. as the third best fullback in the 2018 draft class following a solid senior season. While spending most of his time trying to create running room for Rashaad Penny, Bawden was a warrior. He played 560 snaps at fullback (second among fullbacks in the nation) and was able to catch 15 passes (one for a TD) in the process.
In 2017, David Wells was named second-team all Mountain West for the second straight year. In the regular season, he averaged 14.8 yards per catch and scored two touchdowns. According to Pro Football Focus, Wells has not dropped a pass in two years and has caught 85% of his targets in the process. Wells was the only Aztec to play in the East-West shrine game, a game played on NFL Network that kickstarts their draft coverage.