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Underrated Wildcats: Drew Riggleman was Arizona’s punting master

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Pac-12 Championship - Arizona v Oregon Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Punting has been a problem for the Arizona Wildcats for a while now. Or, more specifically, ever since Drew Riggleman graduated.

When he was around, things were great.

In three years as Arizona’s starter, Riggleman averaged 40.1 (2013), 46.1 (2014) and 45.3 (2015) yards per punt. In 2014, the Tucsonan was third in the NCAA and second in the Pac-12 in yards per punt. In 2015, he was 15th and second, respectively.

A soccer player at Sahuaro High, Riggleman was not just powerful and precise, but also versatile, capable of launching traditional punts or rubgy-style kicks that darted through the thin desert air, then rolled and rolled and rolled, leaving very little room for a return.

In 2015, Riggleman ranked 10th in the country in net yards per punt (41.5), the stat that actually matters.

Compare that number to those Arizona has posted since his departure, and it will make you appreciate him even more:

  • 2016 — 37.0 net yards per punt
  • 2017 — 31.7 (lol)
  • 2018 — 38.9
  • 2019 — 34.5

For his career, Riggleman averaged 44.0 yards per punt, the third-best mark in program history, only behind Nick Folk and Kyle Dugandzic.

Riggleman’s 46.1 average in 2014 is second-best in school history behind Danny Baugher.