Could Matt Araiza Be The Most Talented NCAA Punter… Ever?
Araiza’s incredible punt, kickoff, and field goal abilities have some asking if we are witnessing the rise of a new football great.
Matt Araiza is on course to destroy the NCAA single season punting record by averaging 54 yards per punt.
Carson, CA- When was the last time a PUNTER was legitimately in the Heisman discussion? The answer is never. A football player designated as punter has never cracked the top 10 in Heisman voting.
That might change in 2021. There is no rule stating that a punter can’t win the Heisman, and if anybody makes the case it might be Matt Araiza, who has potential to be the best punter and all around kicker to ever play NCAA football.
Right now he’s the expected winner of the Ray Guy award.
Araiza is a very special player.
For starters, he handles punts, kickoffs and field goal kicking. Only four active FBS players actively perform all three for their respective teams.
Araiza is best, or close to the best in the nation at all three.
He is able to completely flip the field, even if the Aztecs are buried within five yards of their own end zone, thusly making opponents face one of the NCAA’s elite defensive teams for 80-plus yards.
In addition, Araiza amazingly LEADS Aztecs special teams in tackles.
Is he THE greatest?
- Matt Araiza is the first player EVER to kick a 50+ yard field goal AND an 80+ yard punt in the same game TWO weeks in a row.
- He has 28 50-plus-yard punts. The NCAA record is 32, set in 1994, and the Aztecs have at least five more games remaining this season.
- Araiza is averaging 54.0 yards per punt, which would crush the NCAA and NFL records—51.0 in college (set in 2018 by Braden Mann) / 51.4 in the NFL (set in 1940 by Slingin’ Sammy Baugh).
- Araiza has made three 50-yard field goals so far this season, the second most in NCAA football. It’s probable that he would have hit a fourth for 55 yards, had the holder not pointed the laces right at Matt. He had the distance- the ball sailed just right of the uprights.
- He now has the 4th longest average kickoff distance at 65.0 yards.
- Araiza is 100% the team MVP by Aztecs coach Brady Hoke.
The Aztecs aren’t the most watched program in college football by a long shot, however when fans watched Araiza boot a jaw dropping 86-yard punt at sea level against the Spartans, over the next week that punt went viral on social media. That kick blew football fans everywhere away.
The very next week in Colorado Springs, the Aztecs faced off against Air Force. There, at 6,621 feet of altitude, Araiza placed 4 of his 5 punts inside the 20 yard line including his 81-yard boot from inside SDSU’s own end zone. That punt was so high and far that it even amazed Araiza himself.
This kind of accuracy is extremely difficult at such a high altitude.
Pat McAfee of the Pat McAfee Show called the 81-yarder against Air Force “an absolute PISS MISSLE,” however it remains unconfirmed whether Air Force’s kickoff receiver did or did not retain his urine on sight of the bomb as it sailed 15-plus yards over his head.
So, in addition to Aztecs and Bulldogs fans, along with Mountain West football junkies: hardcore football fans might tune into the this week’s game in the hope of seeing something special from Araiza.