The Texas Tech Red Raiders got a Christmas present from Highland kicker/punter Austin McNamara in the form of a commitment on Tuesday.
— Austin McNamara (@aust_31) December 25, 2018
McNamara is the #2 rated punter in the nation according to Chris Sailer kicking and the #69 kicker and won Arizona Cardinals Special Teams Player of the year honors this season. He holds offers from the Red Raiders, Arizona, Arizona State, Missouri, UCLA, Utah State.
Texas Tech first came into the picture for the Polynesian Bowl participant after former Utah State head coach Matt Wells was hired to lead the Red Raiders program. While with the Aggies, Wells recruited McNamara and wanted to do the same now that he was in Lubbock. Wells offered the special teams star on December 15th. McNamara needed to think some things over so close to early signing day.
“I didn’t really know anything about Texas Tech,” McNamara said going into his visit. “I didn’t know even what city it was in. I had no idea. After I got offered by Coach Wells, I kind of looked into it…I thought it was really cool. I really liked a lot on the academic side of it, the facility and the campus.”
It was the right place and right time for McNamara and Texas Tech. The opportunities to play early at Texas Tech and the trust he had in Coach Wells made the Red Raiders the choice for him.
“It was kind of crazy because we had been talking to some schools for like five or six months and then Texas Tech rolled in and it took two-and-a-half or three weeks before I was committed and felt good about it.”
Now, he’s beginning to focus on how he can help the team in the fall. He has worked with national coaches Chris Sailer and Jamie Kohl over the years and is coached locally by former Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys kicker Mike Vanderjagt.
“What I want to do at least at Texas Tech is be the punter, and also compete for a kickoff or field goal spot,” McNamara said. “I had a really good year kicking this year as well as punting, so I want to see what I can do and see if I can win any of those jobs because I want to get on the field as much as I can.”
In McNamara’s senior season, he averaged 42.1 yards per punt with 11/35 landing inside the 20-yard line. He was a perfect 63/63 on extra points and 12/18 from field goal with a long of 45 yards. He had 65 touchbacks on his 89 kickoffs this year.
— Austin McNamara (@aust_31) December 17, 2018
It’s another strong class for special teams players in Arizona. McNamara joins a group including Brophy kicker/punter Jackson Garcia (San Diego), Hamilton kicker Daniel Obarski (Purdue), Horizon kicker Cole Johnson (Air Force) and Desert Vista punter Kyle Ostendorp (Arizona) scholarshiped commits from the Grand Canyon State in 2019.