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Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award

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Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Announces 2016 Preseason Watch List

 

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award.  The celebration presented by the Orange Bowl Committee reconizes three finalist at a gala awards banquet in Palm Beach County on December 5th.  This year's watch list is headlined by three past finalists, 19 former semifinalists, and some of the best emerging talent in college football, it’s a highly competitive year on the thirty-player Watch List for the 2016 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, as announced by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.

Last year’s winner, Ka’imi Fairbairn, is now a Houston Texan, making this the first season since 2012 that the reigning Groza winner does not return to defend the honor. But last year’s two other finalists, Auburn junior Daniel Carlson and Memphis senior Jake Elliott, are back to vie for the award once again. West Virginia senior Josh Lambert, who was a finalist in 2014, makes it three former finalists to look out for.

They are joined by 16 other kickers who have previously been named semifinalists, including Utah senior Andy Phillips who has earned the honor in each of his first three years. To put that consistency in perspective, Elliott, Cincinnati junior Andrew Gantz, and Arizona State senior Zane Gonzalez are the only other active kickers who have been semifinalists even twice.

Ten kickers return to FBS coming off seasons in which they attempted at least 15 field goals and made them at a rate of at least 85%, and all ten made the Watch List: Oregon junior Aidan Schneider (91.7), Nevada senior Brent Zuzo (89.5), UConn senior Bobby Puyol (88.9), Notre Dame sophomore Justin Yoon (88.2), Texas Tech sophomore Clayton Hatfield (87.5), North Carolina senior Nick Weiler (87.0), California junior Matt Anderson (85.7), Carlson (85.2), Phillips (85.2), and Idaho senior Austin Rehkow (85.2).

Among returning kickers who made at least 70% of their field goals, 11 kicked at least seven from 40 or more yards out, all of whom made the Watch List: Nebraska junior Drew Brown (13), Virginia Tech junior Joey Slye (13), Elliott (10), Miami (FL) junior Michael Badgley (8), Carlson (8), Phillips (8), Boise State senior Tyler Rausa (8), Rehkow (8), Gantz (7), Alabama senior Adam Griffith (7), and Minnesota junior Ryan Santoso (7).

While nearly all of the Watch List members are upperclassmen, four sophomores earned their way on after stellar freshman years, including Clemson’s Greg Huegel, who led the nation in field goals (27) and points (138). Huegel is joined by Hatfield, Oklahoma’s Austin Seibert, and Yoon.

While the Watch List highlights thirty of the best returning kickers in the country, the Groza Committee will be watching all FBS kickers during the season, and releasing a weekly “Stars of the Week” feature on www.lougrozaaward.com. All FBS kickers remain eligible to be selected as semifinalists.

Accomplishments are tabulated throughout the season and the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award will announce its 20 semifinalists on Thursday, November 3rd. From this list, a panel of more than 100 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists, and current NFL kickers selects the top three finalists for the award by Tuesday, November 22nd. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, December 8th during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.

The Award is named for National Football League Hall of Fame kicker Lou “The Toe” Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Although an All-Pro offensive lineman as well, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.

For more information on the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award and to see the “Stars of the Week” throughout the season, please go to www.lougrozaaward.com. For even more updates on the best kicking performances throughout the season, follow @LouGrozaAward on Twitter.

 

 

National College Football Awards Association

The Lou Groza Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast 722 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story.

The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month. Seventeen of the association’s 22 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates.

 

Following is the complete 2016 preseason watch list calendar:

 

Tues., July 5:           Bednarik Award / Maxwell Award

Wed., July 6:           Mackey Award / Rimington Trophy

Thurs., July 7:          Lou Groza Award / Ray Guy Award

Fri., July 8:               Bronko Nagurski Trophy / Outland Trophy

Mon., July 11:          Jim Thorpe Award

Tues., July 12:         Butkus Award / Rotary Lombardi Award

Weds., July 13:        Biletnikoff Award / Wuerffel Trophy

Thurs., July 14:        Davey O’Brien Award / Doak Walker Award

Fri., July 15:             Walter Camp Award / Paul Hornung Award

 

About the Palm Beach County Sports Commission
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is a private, not-for-profit organization contracted by Palm Beach County to promote and market the County as a sports and sports tourism destination. The Commission brings sporting events and activities to the County, enhances economic impact, stimulates bed tax revenues (primarily in the off-season), and maximizes utilization of County facilities. The Commission offers a full range of event service support, corporate partnerships, sponsorships and a local membership program that support its goals. Local, regional, national and international marketing efforts are ongoing by the Commission with sports organizations and event owners. The Commission also produces sports-related programs for the residents of Palm Beach County including the annual Lou Groza Award program, the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame, the Kids Fitness Festival of the Palm Beaches and the annual Sam Budnyk Student-Athlete Scholarship. For more information on the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, go to www.palmbeachsports.com 
 

 

Who is your favorite Lou Groza Watch List Athlete?
 
pollcode.com free polls

 

 

Matt Anderson – California

Class: Junior - Hometown: Danville, California

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

18

21

85.7

0-0

10-10

5-6

3-5

0-0

48

50

52

104

 

 

Anderson finished the season on a remarkable hot streak, making his last 12 field goal attempts and kicking multiple field goals in each of the final five games of the year. That includes the regular season finale, when his 26 yarder as time expired lifted the Golden Bears to a 48-46 win over Arizona State, completing Cal’s biggest comeback since 2007.

Michael Badgley – Miami (FL)

Class: Junior - Hometown: Summit, New Jersey

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

25

30

83.3

0-0

13-14

4-6

7-7

1-3

57

40

40

115

 

 

A 2015 Groza semifinalist, Badgley set or matched multiple school records, most notably breaking the Miami mark for field goals in a season with 25. He twice matched the school record with 5-for-5 performances, including against Nebraska where his 5th was an overtime game-winner. His 57 yard kick against Pitt matched another Canes record and was the longest by any returning FBS kicker.

Jonathan Barnes – Louisiana Tech

Class: Junior - Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

22

26

84.6

2-2

7-7

7-9

4-6

2-2

50

60

60

126

 

 

A 2015 Groza semifinalist, Barnes capped a terrific season with his best game of the year in the New Orleans Bowl, scoring 17 points on a 4-for-4 FG performance that included his second 50 yard kick. That makes him one of just nine returning FBS kickers who made at least two field goals from long distance last year.

Drew Brown – Nebraska

Class: Junior - Hometown: Southlake, Texas

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

21

27

77.8

0-0

6-7

2-3

12-14

1-3

50

44

46

107

 

 

Brown’s 13 field goals from at least 40 yards are tied for the most by any returning FBS kicker. Nine of those kicks came during his season-ending streak of 11 straight made field goals. Against Southern Miss, he tied the NCAA record with 5 FGs in the first half. He is the first player in Nebraska history to score 100 points in both his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Daniel Carlson – Auburn

Class: Junior - Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

23

27

85.2

0-0

8-10

7-7

4-5

4-5

56

40

40

109

 

 

A finalist for the 2015 Lou Groza Award, Carlson’s four field goals from at least 50 yards are the most by any returning FBS kicker. That mark also set Auburn’s school record for kicks from long distance. Amidst his 23-FG season was a streak of 16 consecutive makes, another all-time Auburn record. He has made all 97 extra point attempts in his college career.

Trent Domingue – LSU

Class: Senior - Hometown: Mandeville, Louisiana

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

13

17

76.5

0-0

4-6

6-6

3-4

0-1

45

49

50

88

 

 

A 2015 Groza semifinalist, Domingue didn’t miss a field goal attempt until late November, opening the season with ten straight FGs as he made the most of his few opportunities. In fact, LSU was so busy scoring touchdowns that they even pulled the kicker into the fold, calling Domingue’s number on a 16-yard fake that gave the Tigers a 35-28 win over Florida.

Jake Elliott – Memphis

Class: Senior - Hometown: Western Springs, Illinois

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

23

28

82.1

0-0

6-6

7-11

8-9

2-2

53

63

63

132

 

 

A finalist for the 2015 Lou Groza Award and a semifinalist as a freshman in 2013, Elliott enters the year with his eyes on both the Groza and the Memphis record books. He needs just 10 FGs and 45 points to match the Memphis career records held by Stephen Gostkowski, who now holds those same records for the New England Patriots.

Elliott Fry – South Carolina

Class: Senior - Hometown: Frisco, Texas

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

20

28

 

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