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Matt Araiza

Matt Araiza, Matt Corral lead 2021 All-Latino American Team

Oklahoma State's Malcolm Rodriguez earns Defensive Player of the Year honor

San Diego State’s All-America punter Matt Araiza has been the most decorated Latino in college football this year. The 2021 Ray Guy Award winner stands out in a season that saw many Latinos excel on the gridiron.

Several Latino quarterbacks and wide receivers had breakout games. We saw kickers hit game-winning field goals. It was a pleasure to watch so many Latinos perform and shine. 

Our Esquina tracked all Latinos in college football this season, providing weekly updates on their stats. This is our first ever All-Latino American Football Team for the 2021 season. We are recognizing Players of the Year for all three phases of the game. 

Offensive Player of the Year, Matt Corral

Sure Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral was a Heisman Trophy nominee snub. But he’s Our Esquina’s Offensive Player of the Year award. 

Corral finished the 2021 season with 20 passing touchdowns and only four interceptions, a major improvement from the 14 interceptions he threw in 2020. He threw for 3,339 yards, two yards more than his 3,337 passing yards in 2020. 

Corral also rushed for 11 touchdowns.  He was Ole Miss’ third leading rusher with 597 yards. 

Defensive Player of the Year, Malcolm Rodriguez.

Oklahoma State linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, a sixth-year senior, was a sure tackler for the surprising Cowboys defense. Rodriguez finished the 2021 regular season campaign with 118 tackles, 68 of them solo efforts. He added three sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Special Teams Player of the Year, Matt Araiza.

San Diego State kicker and punter Matt Araiza has locked up a first-team spot on all the All-America teams this month. So you knew the Ray Guy Award winner would garner a spot on Our Esquina’s team.

The left-footed Araiza connected on 17 field goals, including three of 50 yards or longer. He was perfect on PAT’s to generate 91 points for the Aztecs.  It wasn’t just the points that Araiza scored. He also saved San Diego State with booming punts that gave the Aztecs consistently great field position.

Araiza averaged 51.4 yards per punt, good for first in the NCAA FBS, He had a whopping 36 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. 

Freshman of the Year, RJ Martinez. 

Northern Arizona University quarterback RJ Martinez had a freshman season to remember. In his first collegiate start, he led his Lumberjacks to an upset road victory over the Pac-12’s Arizona Wildcats, 21-19. 

Martinez, a true freshman quarterback from Austin, threw for 1,713 yards and 14 touchdowns with only two interceptions. He added five rushing touchdowns. 

QB Matt Corral  Ole Miss
RB Chris Rodriguez Kentucky
RB Isaih Pacheco Rutgers
WR Chris Olave Ohio State
WR Jesse Matthews San Diego State
WR Jalen Cropper  Fresno State 
TE Oscar Cardenas UTSA
OL Antonio Velasquez Wyoming
OL Julio Garcia  UNLV
OL Cole Garcia  Rice 
OL Eddie Rivas Texas State
OL Jaime Navarro  San Jose State 
DL Jose Ramirez Eastern Michigan
DL Elijah Garcia  Rice 
DL David Perales Fresno State 
DL Marcus Valdez Boston College 
LB Malcolm Rodriguez  Oklahoma State
LB Ron Stone  Washington State 
LB Sori- Marin, Mariano Minnesota 
CB Christian Gonzalez Colorado
CB Chris Steele  USC
S Cameron Martinez  Ohio State
S Gunner Maldonado  Arizona 
K Daniel Gutierrez UNLV
P Matt Araiza San Diego State
RETURNER  Donny Navarro, Illinois 

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