|Born:||May 16, 2000|
San Diego, California
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||200 lb (91 kg)|
|High school:||Rancho Bernardo|
(San Diego, California)
|College:||San Diego State (2018–2021)|
|NFL Draft:||2022 / Round: 6 / Pick: 180|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
Matthew Ryan Araiza (born May 16, 2000) is an American football punter who is a free agent. He played college football at San Diego State, where he set the NCAA season record for average punt yardage as a junior. Due to his collegiate success, he received the nickname "Punt God". Araiza joined the National Football League (NFL) when he was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, but was released prior to the 2022 season after being accused of gang rape.
Araiza grew up in San Diego, California, and attended Rancho Bernardo High School, where he played football and was a hurdler on the track and field team. He made 37 field goals and was a two-time All-America selection as a placekicker. Araiza committed to play college football at San Diego State University (SDSU) over offers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Montana.
At SDSU, Araiza redshirted his true freshman season for the Aztecs. He also served as the backup to All-Mountain West Conference kicker John Baron II. He became the team's placekicker as a redshirt freshman and made a school-record 22 field goals on 26 attempts and was named honorable mention All-Mountain West. Araiza made 10 of 14 field goal attempts in SDSU's COVID-19-shortened 2020 season and was named honorable mention All-Mountain West for a second straight season. He also assumed punting duties during the team's opening game against UNLV and averaged 49.8 yards on five punts.
In 2021, Araiza was named first-string punter in addition to his kicking duties going into his redshirt junior season and was named a mid-season All-American by ESPN at the position. He finished the season averaging 51.19 yards per punt, breaking the NCAA record set by Texas A&M's Braden Mann in 2018 (50.98) and earning himself the nickname "Punt God" from fans. Araiza won the Ray Guy Award as the top punter in the nation, and he became the second player in Aztecs history to be named a unanimous All-American. Following the end of the season, Araiza announced that he would be forgoing his final season of eligibility to enter the 2022 NFL Draft.
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand span||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||Vertical jump||Broad jump|
|6 ft 1+1⁄8 in
|4.68 s||1.61 s||2.71 s||32.0 in
|10 ft 1 in|
|All values from NFL Combine|
The Buffalo Bills selected Araiza in the sixth round with the 180th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. He was the third punter selected in the draft. As a rookie, he was named the Bills starting punter following the release of veteran Matt Haack. Araiza did not dress for the Bills' final preseason game on August 26, 2022, one day after a lawsuit accusing him and two former SDSU teammates of rape became public. He was released the next day, on August 27.
Araiza is of Mexican descent through his father, Rico, who was born in Mexico. Araiza has stated that he does not "necessarily love the nickname" of "Punt God", though recognizes it as a "huge compliment".
In 2022, Araiza was named as a defendant in a civil case in which he and two SDSU teammates were accused of gang raping a then-17-year-old girl, who was under the age of consent in California, at an off-campus party in 2021. Araiza has denied the allegations, with his agent stating, "The facts of the incident are not what they are portrayed in the lawsuit or in the press." Araiza's lawyer described the allegations as "a money grab" from the accuser, which the accuser disputed.
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2022-09-05 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=69138051