Palm Beach County Sports Commission Presents

Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award

Palm Beach Sports


During the past 20 years, many things have helped mold college football into the game that it is today. Near the top of that list is the increased importance of the kicking game.

It used to be that place-kickers were local, non-scholarship athletes who made good. Now, top high school and prep kickers are as highly recruited as some quarterbacks and wide receivers.

With national championships often won or lost on one swing of the leg, the importance of having a top kicker cannot be understated.

The Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award annually recognizes college football’s top place-kicker.









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 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 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 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











Photos from this years banquet!







Palm Beach County Sports Commission

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

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Fax: (561) 233-3125



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