The Cream of the Crop: Matt Araiza, San Diego State
Note: This kid has the potential to be a game changer at the position. Rarely do punters have highlight reels like this, but Araiza has one of the more powerful legs in recent memory. He’s going to get drafted.
An Aussie in Champaign: Blake Hayes, Illinois
Note: UFA contender for the Bears. From Turf Show Times: “From Melbourne, Australia. 6’4” tall, 226 pounds. LZ says elite coffin corner punter, outstanding control. Lacks hang time and power, operational time too slow, had 3 punts blocked. He’s left footed. Had 45.1 average last season, career best. Turns 24 in August. I don’t have as much a problem as LZ with his timing, but he doesn’t have a strong leg or strikes the ball consistently. He is good at downing the ball inside the 20.”
A Guinness Punter: Jordan Stout, Penn State
Note: From a piece at Collegian: “In his senior year, Stout was No. 5 in the Big Ten, averaging 46 yards per kick with only three punts crossing the goal line for a touchback. Stout was one of the best in the conference at pinning opponents deep, racking up the third-most punts inside the 20-yard line with 35 and a deep 76-yarder against Wisconsin.”
Rutgers punter Adam Korsak and Oklahoma punter Michael Turk were two guys who really impressed this season, but both have decided to return to amateur football for another year.