San Diego State football head coach Brady Hoke has announced the addition of five transfers to the program, including the brothers of two familiar Aztec faces.
The group includes offensive lineman Cade Bennett, defensive lineman Deven Lamp, linebacker Cooper McDonald, tight end Mark Redman and defensive lineman Justus Tavai.
Nevertheless, quarterback Braxton Burmeister, a prep at La Jolla Country Day, was not announced as SDSU bound, despite speculation that he would land locally after entering the transfer portal to leave Virginia Tech.
This week, Hoke addressed several questions about the Aztecs’ interest in a quarterback without naming Burmeister, and said he hoped another announcement was forthcoming. Yet he concluded, “we want guys who believe in San Diego State.”
“We’re not gonna get in some sort of bidding war, because that’s not who we are. We want guys who want to be here,” he added.
Of the confirmed transfers, Hoke said the program “put a nice class together.”
Bennett, who has three years of collegiate eligibility remaining, spent two seasons at Oklahoma State. Bennett played in a pair of games last year after redshirting his first season with the Cowboys in 2020. He was ranked the No. 25 offensive guard in the nation by 247sports and the No. 13 player out of Arizona.
Lamp joins the Aztecs after spending the last five seasons at Tulsa and has one year of eligibility left. For his career, Lamp has played in 38 games with one start, logging 28 tackles, including 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. Last year, the Scottsdale native played in 12 of the team’s 13 games before electing to transfer, missing the Myrtle Beach Bowl. He had 16 tackles with three tackles for loss and two sacks.
McDonald spent the last two years at Washington. McDonald, the younger brother of two-time first-team all-Mountain West linebacker and SDSU captain Caden McDonald, played in 16 games in his two seasons with the Huskies, starting 10 times and amassing 27 tackles and a sack.
The Texas native started 10 of the 12 games in 2021, recording 25 tackles and a sack.
Redman, another Washington transfer, played in 16 games with one start. He appeared in four games as a true freshman in 2020 and prepped at Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach. Redman was ranked by Rivals as the No. 7 tight end in the 2020 class and No. 15 by 247sports.
Tavai comes to San Diego State with one season of eligibility remaining after spending the last four seasons at Hawai’i. Tavai appeared in 25 games over that span (2019-21), logging 19 starts after redshirting the 2018 campaign. For his career, Tavai has totaled 72 tackles (40 solo), including 10 tackles for loss and four sacks. Last year he had 34 tackles (19 solo), playing all 13 games with 12 starts.
He joins his younger brother, Jonah, a two-time all-MW defensive tackle at San Diego State. His other brothers, Jahlani, now with the New England Patriots, Jordan and J.R., all played Division I football.
The transfers come to a program that finished 25th in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll. and ended the season with a school-record 12 victories.
San Diego State kicks off its 100th season of football on Sept. 3 against Arizona.