Oregon place kicker Alejandro Maldonado, a senior from Colton High School (Colton, California), enters his fourth season in the Oregon program.
Before joining the Ducks, Maldonado was one of the top prep special teams players in the country. He was rated as the No. 7 place kicker in the nation by Scout and a three-star recruit. Maldonado had interest from programs across the west coast, particularly the Washington Huskies who he was once committed to.
Maldonado received first-team All-League honors as a punter and kicker his junior season, finishing the year with 23 punts for 903 yards (39.26 avg.) and a long of 70 yards. He also had 53 kickoffs with 36 going for touchbacks, 10 field goals and 32 PATs. As a senior he earned fist-team All-League punter and kicker, All-CIF Southern Section first-team kicker and All-San Bernardino County All-Star by Press Enterprise. He finished the season with 24 punts for 997 yards (41.54 avg.), 20 punts downed inside the 20-yard line, 60 touchbacks on 70 kickoffs, 8-of-12 on field goals and 53-of-53 on PAT attempts.
Maldonado was particularly recruited for his strength. The former soccer player posses an incredibly powerful leg making him a weapon on kickoffs.
In 2010, Maldonado was originally supposed to spend his first season as a redshirt but was thrown into punting duties in the last two games of the regular season. He finished the year with three punts for an average of 36.0 yards with one downed inside the 20-yard line.
In 2011, Maldonado earned All-Pac-12 academic honorable mention while taking over kicking duties for the later part of the season. Maldonado replaced starting place kicker Rob Beard. Maldonado finished the season 7-of-12 on field goals and 77-of-78 on PATs. His shining moment came in the 2012 Rose Bowl against Wisconsin when he nailed a 30-yard field goal. It was a great moment after a tough miss against USC earlier in the season that may have cost the Ducks a chance at a national title appearance.
In 2012, Maldonado continued to split time with Beard on place kicking and kickoff duties. He finished 3-of-6 on kicks with his low-point coming in a heart-breaking loss to the Stanford Cardinal. However, he rebounded for a 2-of-2 performance against Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.
Going into the 2013 season, Maldonado will be in a battle with incoming freshman Matt Wogan. Maldonado make take kickoff duties while Wogan focuses on place kicking.Advertise your business on Eugene Daily News!