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- The Punt God, Matt Araiza, is so good that he is getting the entire San Diego State staff a bonus.
- However, it is extremely ironic that the Aztec’s offensive coordinator is getting a bonus because of a punter.
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San Diego State punter Matt Araiza is set to join running back Marshall Faulk as the only unanimous All-American selections in school history later this week. He is so good at punting that he got the Aztec’s offensive coordinator a bonus.
Wait, what?! Yes, you read that right.
Last week, Araiza was named the Ray Guy Award winner for being the nation’s top punter. His nickname is the Punt God and it’s not hard to see why.
Araiza is averaging an astonishing 51.4 yards per punt and has multiple punts of 80 yards or more. I’ll say that again — MULTIPLE PUNTS OF MORE THAN 80 YARDS.
Una de las mayores armas defensivas este año en el college football, no es un defensive end… no es un linebacker… es… un PUNTER! Matt Araiza, de San DIego State, está consiguiendo punts de más de 80 yardas y además, hace field goals y extra points! 😳 pic.twitter.com/E9XmADKNsL
— Juan Jiménez (@TheQbNerd) November 13, 2021
Here is how his longest punts breakdown per game, by week:
- 77 yards
- 66 yards
- 64 yards
- 72 yards
- 64 yards
- 86 yards
- 81 yards
- 52 yards
- 79 yards
- 62 yards
- 59 yards
- 61 yards
- 57 yards
Needless to say, Araiza can boom it. But his talent is not just power, he led the nation in punts downed inside the 20-yard-line with 36.
As a result of his remarkable season, the Punt God was named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press. It was a no-brainer.
Because of his selection, based on the terms of their contracts, the entire SDSU coaching staff received a bonus. Head coach Brady Hoke received $10,000 and each assistant on staff received a bonus equal to 1% of their base salary.
Offensive coordinator Jeff Hecklinski will earn the largest staff bonus at $3,200.
It is incredibly ironic.
Araiza’s performance in 2021 was not a small sample size. He punted 76 times in the course of 13 games for an average of 5.85 punts per game.
Remember, every time that Araiza steps onto the field as the punter, it is because the offense was unable to score. Hecklinski is responsible for the offense, which essentially means that he failed at his job every time that Araiza punts.
And yet, because Araiza was named an All-American, Hecklinski is getting a bonus.
Yes, technically, Araiza would not have been able to succeed the way that he did without Hecklinski. If the offense scores points on every single drive, Araiza would never have the opportunity to punt.
But to give Hecklinski a bonus because of his offense’s inability to move the ball and being forced to punt is certainly something. The Punt God gets everybody paid.