San Diego State football record-setting punter Matt Araiza entering NFL draft

San Diego State punter and Ray Guy Award winner Matt Araiza announced Tuesday that he will be entering the 2022 NFL draft after putting together one of the best punting seasons in college football history.

"These past four years have been a blessing," Araiza wrote on Twitter. "Thank you to my family and friends for all the years of support. With gratitude, I am announcing my decision to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft."

Araiza, who had one year left of eligibility, set the record for punting average in a season with 51.19 yards per punt. He holds the NCAA record of punts of 50 yards or more with 39 and the record for punts of 60 yards or more with 18. He also had two punts of 80 yards or more this season, including an 86-yarder.

Araiza, 21, is a former soccer player-turned kicker from San Diego who made the switch to football early in high school.

"When I made that transition, from soccer to football, it was because I wanted to be in the NFL," Araiza told ESPN in November.

He said that he studies NFL kickers and models some of his approach after Jake Bailey, who currently kicks for the New England Patriots and has a similar background and body type to Araiza.

Araiza also was selected as a first-team All-American, which triggered bonuses for coach Brady Hoke and offensive coordinator Jeff Hecklinski.

Meanwhile, San Diego State starting quarterback Lucas Johnson entered the transfer portal on Tuesday. Johnson, in his first year as the Aztecs starter, passed for 1,424 yards with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions, while completing 61.9 percent of his attempts.

The San Diego native started his career at Georgia Tech, where he made two starts, before transferring to San Diego State after the 2019 season. He appeared in three games with the Aztecs in 2020, starting one.

Johnson had a career-high 333 pass yards and three touchdowns, plus a rushing touchdown, in San Diego State's win last Tuesday over UTSA in the Frisco Bowl.