Matthew Ryan Araiza is 22 years old, he was born on May 16, 2000, in San Diego, California, and he is an American football punter for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL).
He played college football at San Diego State. 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 playing college football at San Diego State over offers from UMass and Montana.
Araiza redshirted his true freshman season while serving 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 the Aztecs 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’ by fans.
Araiza won the Ray Guy Award as the top punter in the nation. Following the end of the season, Araiza announced that he would be forgoing his final season of eligibility to enter the 2022 NFL Draft.
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.”