SDSU punter Matt Araiza named first-team All-American


CARSON, CA – NOVEMBER 26: Matt Araiza #2 of the San Diego State Aztecs kicks the ball against the Boise State Broncos on November 26, 2021 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Following one of the best seasons for a punter in college history, San Diego State University’s Matt Araiza became the second unanimous first-team All-American in program history Thursday when the NCAA released its consensus All-America team.

Araiza joined running back Marshall Faulk — selected in 1992 and 1993 — as the only Aztecs to earn unanimous first-team All-America accolades. Araiza, who attended Rancho Bernardo High School, is one of 10 unanimous All- Americans this season.

Araiza, Faulk, offensive tackle Kyle Turley — in 1997 — and running back Rashaad Penny — in 2017 — are the SDSU players who have been named to the All-America Team.

Araiza, who last week won the Ray Guy Award for the nation’s best collegiate punter, punted 76 times for 3,904 yards, ranking first in Football Bowl Subdivision history in punt average with 51.4 yards per average punt, 60- yard punts with 18 and 50-yard punts with 39. Of his 76 punts, 36 landed inside the 20-yard line.

One of only four players in the nation who handled all three kicking duties — punts, PATs/field goals and kickoffs —  Araiza has added 17 field goals, including three 50-plus yarders, and has kicked off 67 times — excluding onside kicks — for a 65.06 average with 56 going for a touchback.

Araiza has six punts of at least 70 yards, the most in the country, including the longest at 86 yards.

San Diego State, which has tied a school record with 11 victories this season, plays No. 24 University of Texas at San Antonio in the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl on Tuesday in Frisco, Texas.

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