Palm Beach County Sports Commission Presents

Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award

Palm Beach Sports

Watch List

 

Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award

Announces 2017 Preseason Watch List

 

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Looking to become the first kicker to ever be named a Finalist three times, Auburn senior Daniel Carlson headlines the thirty-player Watch List for the 2017 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, as announced by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.

After seeing Ka’imi Fairbairn and Zane Gonzalez, both now on NFL rosters, take home the trophy the last two years, Carlson is hoping the third time is the charm. He enters the 2017 season with 69 career field goals, the most by an active kicker, and a perfect streak on extra points, having made all 141 career attempts.

He is joined on the Watch List by 12 other kickers who have previously been named semifinalists, including Louisiana Tech senior Jonathan Barnes and Virginia Tech senior Joey Slye, the only other active kickers to have earned the semifinalist honor twice.

All 14 kickers who return to FBS after seasons kicking at least 20 field goals made the Watch List: Ohio sophomore Louie Zervos (29), Carlson (28), Cal senior Matt Anderson (22), Barnes (22), Minnesota junior Emmit Carpenter (22), Penn State senior Tyler Davis (22), Air Force senior Luke Strebel (22), Ole Miss senior Gary Wunderlich (22), Miami (FL) senior Michael Badgley (21), San Diego State junior John Baron II (21), Tulsa senior Redford Jones (21), Florida junior Eddy Pineiro (21), Wake Forest senior Mike Weaver (21) and Slye (20).

Among returning kickers who attempted at least 15 field goals, only 14 connected at a rate of at least 84%, and all of them found their way to the Watch List: Wunderlich (95.7), Carpenter (91.7), Davis (91.7), Baron II (91.3), San Jose State junior Bryce Crawford (88.9), Temple sophomore Aaron Boumerhi (88.2), Fresno State senior Kody Kroening (88.2), Strebel (88.0), Carlson (87.5), Anderson (84.6), Kentucky senior Austin MacGinnis (84.2), Louisville sophomore Blanton Creque (84.2), Middle Tennessee senior Canon Rooker (84.2) and Pineiro (84.0).

The Watch List also includes all six returning kickers who connected on multiple field goals from at least 50 yards away: Carlson (4), Pineiro (3), Carpenter (2), Vanderbilt senior Tommy Openshaw (2), New Mexico senior Jason Sanders (2), and Western Kentucky junior Skyler Simcox (2).

While the Watch List highlights 30 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 2nd. 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 21st. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, December 7th during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.

The 26th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl Committee, recognizes the three finalists during a celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet on December 4th.

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 college football’s most prestigious awards. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 22 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935.  Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story.

The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a two-week period this month. Sixteen of the association’s 23 awards with the addition of Uplifting Athletes select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the complete 2017 preseason watch list calendar:

 

Mon., July 10:         Bednarik Award / Maxwell Award

Tues., July 11:         Mackey Award / Rimington Trophy

Weds., July 12:        Lou Groza Award / Ray Guy Award

Thurs., July 13:        Bronko Nagurski Trophy / Outland Trophy

Fri., July 14:             Jim Thorpe Award

Mon., July 17:         Butkus Award / Paul Hornung Award

Tues., July 18:         Biletnikoff Award / Wuerffel Trophy

Weds., July 19:        Davey O’Brien Award

Thurs. July 20            Doak Walker Award

Thurs., July 20:        Walter Camp 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 and  the Kids Fitness Festival of the Palm Beaches. For more information on the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, go to www.palmbeachsports.com.

Ricky Aguayo – Florida State

Class: Sophomore - Hometown: Mascotte, Florida

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

19

26

73.1

0-0

5-5

7-7

7-13

0-1

47

51

52

108

 

 

Aguayo put himself in the record books after just one collegiate game, going 6-for-6 against Ole Miss to set the FSU record for most FGs in a game, the most ever by an FBS kicker in his debut game, and tying the all-time mark for most by a freshman in any game.

Matt Anderson – California

Class: Senior - Hometown: Danville, California

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

22

26

84.6

1-1

11-11

4-5

6-9

0-0

47

51

51

117

 

 

A 2016 Groza semifinalist, Anderson matched Cal’s single-season record with 22 field goals and set a new Bears modern era mark with his 117 points. After just two seasons, he already ranks 10th on Cal’s all-time scoring list, and needs just 68 more points to become the school’s new all-time leader.

Stevie Artigue – Louisiana

Class: Junior - Hometown: Lafayette, Louisiana

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

19

24

79.2

1-1

5-6

8-8

5-9

0-0

47

29

31

86

 

 

Artigue’s 19 field goals tied for second-most in Ragin’ Cajuns history, helping him to a team-leading 86 points. Four of those kicks came in a career-best 4-for-4 performance against in-state rival Tulane. The junior enters 2017 on a hot streak, having made his final 9 attempts of last season.

Michael Badgley – Miami (FL)

Class: Senior - Hometown: Summit, New Jersey

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

21

26

80.8

0-0

6-8

5-7

9-9

1-2

51

53

55

116

 

 

A Groza semifinalist in 2015, Badgley is one of just three returning FBS kickers coming off back-to-back seasons with at least 20 field goals. His 60 career FGs are third-most among kickers who return this year. After setting the Hurricanes’ single-season record for FGs in 2015, last year’s 21 give him two of the school’s top three marks all-time.

Jonathan Barnes – Louisiana Tech

Class: Senior - Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

22

27

81.5

0-0

8-9

5-6

8-10

1-2

54

77

78

143

 

 

A Groza semifinalist in both 2015 and 2016, Barnes led the nation in kick-scoring last season. While his 77 extra points also led the country, he didn’t make his living just on chip shots. His 9 FGs from at least 40 yards are tied for fifth-most by a returning FBS kicker, while his 54 yarder is tied for the longest by a kicker who returns this season.

John Baron II – San Diego State

Class: Junior - Hometown: Temecula, California

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

21

23

91.3

0-0

7-7

8-8

5-6

1-2

50

56

58

119

 

 

A 2016 Groza semifinalist, Baron set San Diego State records for both the most field goals in a season and connecting at the highest accuracy rate in a season. Not only did his 119 points lead the team, but his overall performance saw him become the first Aztec kicker ever named to the All-Mountain West Conference first team.

Aaron Boumerhi – Temple

Class: Sophomore - Hometown: Philipsburg, Pennsylvania

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

15

17

88.2

0-0

4-4

6-7

5-5

0-1

48

29

30

74

 

 

Perhaps no school should enter 2017 feeling more confident about their place-kicking than Temple, which saw Austin Jones (10-for-12) go down with an injury halfway through last season, only to watch Boumerhi step in without missing a beat.  The true freshman’s stand-in performance earned him a scholarship, and gives the Owls two of the nation’s best.

Drew Brown – Nebraska

Class: Senior - Hometown: Southlake, Texas

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

12

14

85.7

0-0

4-4

4-4

3-4

1-2

51

38

38

74

 

 

A starter since Day 1 at Nebraska, Brown enters his senior season already as the school’s seventh-leading scorer and ranks third on the career field goal list. Among returning FBS kickers who made a 50+ yard field goal last year, his 85.7% accuracy rate is fifth-best.

Daniel Carlson – Auburn

Class: Senior - Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

28

32

87.5

2-2

5-5

10-11

7-7

4-7

53

44

44

128

 

 

A finalist in both 2015 and 2016, Carlson is hoping the third time is the charm to take home the Groza. The nation’s active leader in career field goals (69), he led the nation in field goals per game last season. He has yet to miss a PAT in his career, a stretch of 141 straight that is the second-longest in SEC history.

Emmit Carpenter – Minnesota

Class: Junior - Hometown: Green Bay, Wisconsin

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

22

24

91.7

1-1

5-5

6-8

8-8

2-2

53

43

44

109

 

 

A 2016 Groza semifinalist, Carpenter became the first Minnesota kicker to earn the Big Ten’s Kicker of the Year award. His 10 field goals from at least 40 yards out are tied for third-most by a returning FBS kicker, and were easily the most by any kicker who stayed perfect from that distance.

Bryce Crawford – San Jose State

Class: Junior - Hometown: Frisco, Texas

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

16

18

88.9

0-0

9-10

6-6

1-1

0-1

44

31

33

79

 

 

Crawford put together one of the strongest finishes in the country last season, going 11-for-11 on field goals in his final five games. That run of quantity and accuracy helped him to a 88.9% conversion rate that is fifth in the nation among returning kickers who attempted at least 15 field goals last year.  

Blanton Creque – Louisville

Class: Sophomore - Hometown: Shelbyville, Kentucky

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

16

19

84.2

1-1

9-9

5-6

1-3

0-0

47

39

40

87

 

 

Creque established himself as one of the nation’s premier freshman kickers last season, going 16-for-19 for an 84.2% accuracy rate that was the best among FBS freshmen with that many made field goals. He was at his best against the biggest competition, including 3-for-3 performances against Clemson and in the Citrus Bowl against LSU.

Tyler Davis – Penn State

Class: Senior - Hometown: St. Charles, Illinois

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

22

24

91.7

1-1

6-6

12-14

3-3

0-0

40

62

62

128

 

 

A 2016 Groza semifinalist, Davis is one of four returning FBS kickers to attempt at least 20 field goals and make them at a rate better than 90%. Between 2015 and 2016, he put together a streak of 18 consecutive made field goals, the longest such stretch in Penn State history and tied for the fourth-longest in Big Ten history.

Clayton Hatfield – Texas Tech

Class: Junior - Hometown: Boerne, Texas

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

13

14

92.9

0-0

3-3

6-6

4-5

0-0

43

65

70

104

 

 

After two years as Texas Tech’s placekicker, Hatfield is on pace to be the most accurate Red Raiders kicker ever. His 92.9% mark last season was the best in school history, tied for fourth-best among qualifying FBS kickers, and raised his career total to an even 90%. He enters this season having made his last 11 attempts, giving him another school record.

Greg Huegel – Clemson

Class: Junior - Hometown: Blythewood, South Carolina

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

14

19

73.7

0-0

5-6

4-6

5-7

0-0

47

71

73

113

 

 

A 2016 Groza semifinalist, Huegel followed up a freshman season in which he set Clemson’s single-season scoring record with another high powered season that ranked “only” fifth all-time. Still, he managed to set another Tigers record last year, this time by making a single-season best 71 extra points.  

Redford Jones – Tulsa

Class: Senior - Hometown: Norman, Oklahoma

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

21

26

80.8

0-0

10-11

7-7

4-7

0-1

46

67

67

130

 

 

One of only a dozen returning FBS kickers to make at least 20 field goals at a rate of better than 80%, Jones put together one of the nation’s top all-around seasons last year. In addition to his success on field goals, his 67-for-67 performance on PATs was the most by any kicker without a miss, helping him to the nation’s third-best kick-scoring season.

Kody Kroening – Fresno State

Class: Senior - Hometown: San Jose, California

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

15

17

88.2

0-0

7-7

2-3

6-7

0-0

49

23

23

68

 

 

A 2016 Groza semifinalist, Kroening missed his first and last attempts of the season, but nailed everything in between, running up a streak of 15 consecutive made field goals that tied the Fresno State record. Along with his perfect 23 extra point attempts, he led the Bulldogs in scoring.

Austin MacGinnis – Kentucky

Class: Senior - Hometown: Wedowee, Alabama

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

16

19

84.2

0-0

3-4

8-9

4-5

1-1

51

44

45

92

 

 

No Kentucky player has ever entered his senior season already having scored as much as MacGinnis, whose 257 career points are just 48 shy of the school’s all-time career record. His season-long 51-yard field goal came as time expired in a 40-38 win over SEC rival Mississippi State.  

Tommy Openshaw – Vanderbilt

Class: Senior - Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

15

19

78.9

0-0

5-6

6-6

2-5

2-2

52

36

36

81

 

 

Openshaw has increased his field goal totals in each of his three seasons, while hitting at a 78.9% rate that has been topped at Vanderbilt just once since the 70s. One of just six returning FBS kickers who made multiple field goals from at least 50 yards, his pair of kicks from 52 yards out are two of the ten longest in Commodores history.

Eddy Pineiro – Florida

Class: Junior - Hometown: Miami, Florida

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

21

25

84

0-0

5-5

5-7

8-10

3-3

54

32

32

95

 

 

Boasting one of the strongest legs in the nation, Pineiro’s three field goals from over 50 yards trail only two-time Groza finalist Daniel Carlson for most by a returning kicker, while the two are tied atop the national leaderboard with 11 makes from over 40 yards. The 11 FGs from 40+ are the most by a Gators kicker since 1996.

Canon Rooker – Middle Tennessee

Class: Senior - Hometown: Richmond Hill, Georgia

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

16

19

84.2

0-0

5-6

8-8

3-5

0-0

46

64

66

112

 

 

Setting the Middle Tennessee record for most points by a kicker in a single season, Rooker made the most of an impressive season. His 16 made field goals are fourth-best in school history, but perhaps more importantly, he went 10-for-10 on attempts against other Conference USA teams.

Jason Sanders – New Mexico

Class: Senior - Hometown: Orange, California

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

12

13

92.3

0-0

2-2

4-5

4-4

2-2

52

61

62

97

 

 

Of the 10 FBS kickers who made multiple 50-yard field goals last year, none was more accurate overall than Sanders. His 92.3% conversion rate is fourth-best among returning kickers. The senior made it all the way to the Gildan New Mexico Bowl without a missed extra point, when a blocked attempt ended his school-record streak at 82 in a row.

Parker Shaunfield – Southern Miss

Class: Junior - Hometown: Aledo, Texas

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

12

14

85.7

0-0

3-3

3-4

6-7

0-0

49

40

40

76

 

 

A 2016 Groza semifinalist, Shaunfield opened the season going a perfect 12-for-12 on field goals before a quad injury derailed one of the nation’s best seasons. His run of 12 straight makes was the most by a Golden Eagle since 2010 Groza finalist Danny Hrapmann. He has yet to miss on 62 career extra point attempts.

Skyler Simcox – Western Kentucky

Class: Junior - Hometown: Abingdon, Virginia

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

16

22

72.7

1-1

6-7

3-3

4-9

2-2

52

70

71

118

 

 

One of 10 FBS kickers with multiple field goals from over 50 yards, Simcox put up big numbers in his first year as Western Kentucky’s starting placekicker. His 118 points are tied for second-most by a Hilltoppers kicker, and are tied for the eighth-most by a returning kicker.

Joey Slye – Virginia Tech

Class: Senior  - Hometown: Stafford, Virginia

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

20

27

74.1

0-0

12-12

7-8

1-6

0-1

47

58

59

118

 

 

A Groza semifinalist in both 2015 and 2016, Slye is one of just three kickers in the country who can claim that distinction. His 63 career field goals are the second-most by an active player, and just five away from Virginia Tech’s all-time record. He needs just 51 points to become the Hokies’ all-time leading scorer at any position.

Luke Strebel – Air Force

Class: Senior - Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

22

25

88

1-1

9-10

7-8

5-6

0-0

48

51

51

117

 

 

A 2016 Groza semifinalist, Strebel at one point had the nation’s longest consecutive field goal streak at 22 straight over the past two seasons. That mark not only set the Air Force record but was the longest streak in Mountain West Conference history. His 22 FGs last season finished tied for fifth-most in the country.

Mike Weaver – Wake Forest

Class: Senior - Hometown: Pine City, New York

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

21

27

77.8

0-0

4-4

11-12

6-10

0-1

46

28

28

91

 

 

With two field goals in Wake Forest’s 34-26 Military Bowl victory, Weaver finished with 21 on the year and became just the second Demon Deacons kicker to make 20 in a single season. His 17 field goals from 30 yards or longer last season are the third-most by a returning FBS kicker.

Matthew Wright – Central Florida

Class: Junior - Hometown: Lancaster, Pennsylvania

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

17

22

77.3

1-1

2-2

5-6

8-11

1-2

50

39

41

90

 

 

Wright went 4-for-4 on field goals in UCF’s season opener and barely slowed down the rest of the way, connecting on at least one field goal in 12 of 13 games. His nine made field goals from at least 40 yards out are tied for the fifth-most by a returning FBS kicker. A 50-yard kick against UConn made him just the 11th Knights kicker to connect from long distance.

Gary Wunderlich – Ole Miss

Class: Senior - Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

22

23

95.7

1-1

11-11

7-7

3-3

0-1

49

41

43

107

 

 

A 2016 Groza semifinalist, Wunderlich is the only returning FBS kicker who attempted double-digit field goals without missing a kick within 50 yards. Even with the long-range miss, his 95.7% accuracy rate is best among returning kickers with double-digit attempts.  

Louie Zervos – Ohio

Class: Sophomore - Hometown: Tarpon Springs, Florida

 

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

29

35

82.9

0-0

8-8

14-17

6-9

1-1

51

35

38

122

 

 

Simply put, Zervos led all FBS kickers with his 29 made field goals. That mark is the second-highest FBS single-season total in the last five years. He started off hot, going 4-for-5, 5-for-5, and 4-for-4 in the first three games of the season. His 21 made FGs from at least 30 yards are tied with two-time Groza finalist Daniel Carlson for the most by a returning kicker.

 
 
 

 

 

Palm Beach County Sports Commission

Contact Us:
(561) 233-3180
Palm Beach County Sports Commission

1555 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.
Suite 930
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Fax: (561) 233-3125

Email

 

 Follow us!

  

Presented by:

 

 

Sponsored by:

 

   

 

 

 

 

             
                                             

 

Copyright © 2017 Palm Beach County Sports Commission