There’s now only 49 days until the Texas Tech Red Raiders take on the Ole Miss Rebels. Today, we’re going to be talking about our number 49, Michael Barden. Barden is a senior placekicker that has also served as the team’s punter in the past. Last year, he served as the team’s main kickoff man and also stepped in to kick extra points and a handful of field goals while Clayton Hatfield was down with an injury.
Barden went to Austin Westlake High School in Austin, Texas. He originally committed to the Air Force Academy out of High School but came to Texas Tech instead. He was redshirted in 2014 and it paid off for him as he saw action in 8 games in 2015, hitting 19 of 19 extra points and 2 of 3 field goals.
He has been in the forefront of the Texas Tech kicking game ever since as he was the team’s primary punter in 2016. He punted the ball 43 times and only 2 of those resulted in touchbacks. He also kicked the ball off 45 times, 31 of those ended up being touchbacks.
This past season, Barden served as the kick-off specialist, a role he will most likely play again this year. Last season, Barden kicked off 74 times, getting 40 touchbacks. He is a huge part of the Red Raiders’ special teams plan this year, and that is something that I and the rest of Red Raider Nation should be looking forward to.
What do you think of our special teams unit this year? Let us know in the comment section below!