FOOTBALL RECRUTING SPOTLIGHT: KICKER ALAN ORONA

Red Raiders place kicker Clayton Hatfield (96) kicks a field goal as punter Reed Bowman (46) holds during the game against Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium.Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Red Raiders secure their kicker of the future in late June.

La Grange kicker Alan Orona verbally committed to Texas Tech in late June. Orona became the 13th commit of the 2019 recruiting class. Orona is a two-star prospect and ranks 20th in the nation according to 247Sports. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound lefty chose the Red Raiders over Houston.

Orona is in a very unique situation because he’s also a superb punter. As a junior, Orona was first-team all-district as a punter. In 2017, at the December Showcase Camp, Orona turned heads with both his kicking and punting. Orona nailed 11 field goals during the kicking portion and showcased his powerful leg during the punting portion. Many believe Orona will stick to placekicking at the colligate level, but his ability to punt is intriguing for the Red Raiders.

After last season, the Red Raiders treasure consistency in the kicking game. In 2017, four placekickers combined to complete 52.2 percent of field goals.

The signing of Orona couldn’t have come at a better time for the Red Raiders, who are set to lose starting kicker Clayton Hatfield after this season. Hatfield has been a model of consistency this year. Through 7 games, Hatfield has made 9 of 10 kicks. Orona will have an opportunity early on to seize the kicking duties in 2019.

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