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Texas Tech Football Position Preview: Specialist

The specialist look to continue build upon their 2019 success in 2020

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One of the brighter spots of Matt Wells’ first year at the helm came with the superb special teams play from the Red Raiders. Aside from the blocked field goal fiasco against Kansas, special teams were a constant for the program. What’s even more impressive is the fact that the three main contributors to this success were all freshmen. Trey Wolff, Austin McNamara, and Luke Rizzo made up this elite trio, performing as one of the top units in all of college football. With McNamara named to the All-Big 12 first team & Wolff given Honorable Mention accolades, the outlook on this group for the upcoming season is as strong as any other on the team. 


Projected Depth Chart (As of August 15th)

1st: Austin McNamara (So)

2nd: Cody Waddell (Sr)

#31 Austin McNamara (So)

McNamara established himself as one of the best punters in the country during his true freshman year. Ranking fourth in net punting average, 16th in yards per punt, and leading all freshmen in the FBS in yards per punt. Along with being the first Red Raider ever given first-team Big 12 honors as a punter, he was also named a freshman All-American by FWAA, PFF & The Athletic. The sky’s the limit for the true Sophomore, we could easily be looking at a Ray Guy Award winner in the next few seasons.

#48 Cody Waddell (Sr)

Waddell served as Tech’s backup punter in 2019 after walking on during spring practices. A very capable backup, Waddell served as the primary kicker & punter for two seasons at Lincoln University.


Projected Depth Chart (As of August 15th)

1st: Trey Wolff (R-So)

2nd: Gabriel Lozano (R-Fr)

3rd: Jonathan Garibay (Jr)

#36 Trey Wolff (R-So)

As a freshman, Wolff put up one of the most impressive kicking seasons in Texas Tech history. Serving as both the kickoff specialist & field goal kicker, Wolff connected on over 90% of his FG attempts, was 40-41 on PAT’s, and saw 50% of his kickoffs go for touchbacks. His record book season was strong enough to earn him All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors. With his two misses both being from distances greater than 40 yards, the Red Raiders are looking at a near-certain three points every trip into the red zone in 2020. 

#62 Gabriel Lozano (R-Fr)

Hailing from Westlake High School in Austin, Lozano recorded stellar numbers during his high school career. With only one missed PAT, over 80% hit rate on FG’s, and breaking the school record in kickoff yards, Lozano is as strong a backup as one could hope for. He made one appearance last season as a kickoff specialist against UT. We should expect him to serve as Wolff’s backup for the field goal unit, but compete with Wolff for the kickoff specialist spot this season.

#46 Jonathan Garibay (Jr)

Garibay traveled with the team last season as the primary backup for Trey Wolff after coming to Texas Tech from Riverside City College where he was the #4 ranked JUCO Kicker. During his two seasons there, he served as a dual specialist, handling both kicking and punting duties. 

Long Snappers

Projected Depth Chart (As of August 15th)

1st: Luke Rizzo (So)

2nd: Landon O’Connor (R-Jr)

3rd: John Berard (R-Jr)

#54 Luke Rizzo (So)

Rizzo served as the final member of the outstanding freshman-specialist trio last year. Serving in an often overlooked and underappreciated role, Rizzo completed the year with no failed-snaps.

#34 Landon O’Connor (R-Jr)

O’Connor served as the backup long snapper in 2019, traveling with the team. 

#42 John Berard (R-Jr)

Berard joined the Red Raiders in 2018 after playing for City College of San Francisco in 2017. 

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