Palm Beach County Sports Commission Presents

Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award

Palm Beach Sports

Watch List

Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award

Announces 2022 Preseason Watch List

 

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Headlined by two past winners and three other former finalists, it’s a highly competitive year on the thirty-player Watch List for the 2022 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, as announced by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.

Reigning Groza winner Jake Moody joins 2018 winner Andre Szmyt as kickers with a chance to become just the second player to ever win the award multiple times, joining Sebastian Janikowski who won in 1998 and 1999. They’ll have to fend off competition from 2021 finalist Noah Ruggles, 2020 finalists Jacob Oldroyd and Will Reichard, and 15 other past semifinalists. That total includes multi-year semifinalists in Missouri junior Harrison Mevis, UTSA senior Jared Sackett, and Nevada senior Brandon Talton, who has been a semifinalist in each of his first three seasons.

Eleven returning kickers made at least a dozen field goals last season while converting at least 83% of their attempts, and all of them landed on the Watch List: Arizona sophomore Tyler Loop (12 FG, 100%), Tulsa senior Zack Long (22, 95.7), Ohio State senior Ruggles (20, 95.2), Boise State junior Jonah Dalmas (26, 92.9), Missouri junior Mevis (23, 92.0), Michigan senior Moody (23, 92.0), UNLV senior Daniel Gutierrez (16, 88.9), Maryland senior Chad Ryland (19, 86.4), Hawaii junior Matthew Shipley (18, 85.7), Texas State junior Seth Keller (15, 83.3), and Arkansas sophomore Cam Little (20, 83.3).

If you’re looking more for sheer volume of field goals, 13 returning kickers made at least 18 attempts while converting better than 75% of the time, with that group also being voted onto the Watch List: Dalmas (26, 92.9), Colorado State senior Cayden Camper (25, 78.1), Purdue senior Mitchell Fineran (24, 82.8), Mevis (23, 92.0), Moody (23, 92.0), Western Kentucky junior Brayden Narveson (23, 79.3), Long (22, 95.7), Georgia senior Jack Podlesny (22, 81.5), Northern Illinois junior John Richardson (22, 81.5), Alabama senior Reichard (22, 78.6), Clemson senior B.T. Potter (21, 80.8), Ruggles (20, 95.2), Little (20, 83.3), Notre Dame senior Blake Grupe (20, 80.0), Ryland (19, 86.4), East Carolina sophomore Owen Daffer (19, 82.6), West Virginia senior Casey Legg (19, 82.6) and Shipley (18, 85.7).

While the Watch List highlights 30 of the best returning kickers in the country, Moody, who was not on the 2021 Watch List, stands as proof that the Groza Committee will be watching all FBS kickers throughout the season, as all FBS kickers remain eligible to be selected as semifinalists. The Committee releases a weekly “Stars of the Week” feature on www.lougrozaaward.com.

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, announced on 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 on ESPN.

The 31st Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl, recognizes the three finalists during a celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet at the West Palm Beach Marriott on December 5th

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. The NCFAA encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.

The members of the NCFAA are unveiling preseason watch lists over a two-week period. Sixteen of the association's 25 awards are presenting their preseason watch list during this time as the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award's preseason candidates. Following is the 2022 preseason watch list calendar:

Following is the complete 2022 preseason watch list calendar:

Mon., July 18: Maxwell Award

Tues., July 19: Davey O’Brien Award

Weds., July 20: Doak Walker Award

Thurs., July 21: Biletnikoff Award

Fri., July 22: Mackey Award / Rimington Trophy

Mon., July 25: Butkus Award / Jim Thorpe Award

Tues., July 26: Bronko Nagurski Trophy / Outland Trophy

Weds., July 27: Lou Groza Award / Ray Guy Award

Thurs., July 28: Paul Hornung Award / Wuerffel Trophy

Fri., July 29: Walter Camp Award

Mon., Aug. 1: Bednarik 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 Holiday Basketball Classic of the Palm Beaches. For more information on the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, go to www.palmbeachsports.com.

 

Who is your favorite kicker on the preseason watch list?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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*This poll does not count towards actual winner of the Lou Groza Award

 

Jacob Barnes – Louisiana Tech

Class: Sophomore - Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

17

21

81.0

0-0

6-6

6-7

5-8

0-0

47

39

39

90

 

A Groza semifinalist in 2020, Barnes followed up his terrific freshman campaign with another stellar year that both began and finished with 8-for-9 FG streaks. He scored 13 of Louisiana Tech’s 19 points against Southern Miss with a 4-for-4 FG game. His career 82.9% accuracy rate is the 6th highest among active kickers with multiple starting seasons.

Andres Borregales – Miami (FL)

Class: Sophomore - Hometown: Miami, Florida

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

17

21

81.0

0-0

7-8

5-7

4-5

1-1

55

45

45

96

 

The younger brother of 2020 Groza winner Jose Borregales, Andres made his own name with a standout freshman season. He kicked 5 field goals in his first two career games, including a late 43 yarder to lift Miami to a 25-23 victory over Appalachian State. He closed the campaign on a high note, going 4-for-4 and scoring 16 total points on the road at Duke.

Cayden Camper – Colorado State

Class: Senior - Hometown: Pueblo, Colorado

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

25

32

78.1

0-0

14-15

5-8

5-8

1-1

53

27

27

102

 

A 2021 Groza semifinalist, Camper had more 4+ field goal games last year than most kickers achieve in their entire careers. His 4-for-4 performance against Boise State was just his fourth-highest FG game of the season, behind a pair of 5-FG games (both on the road, at Toledo and New Mexico) and an incredible 6-for-6 showcase against San Jose State that included his season-high from 53 yards.

Ryan Coe – Cincinnati

Class: Junior - Hometown: McDonald, Pennsylvania

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

14

17

82.4

0-0

3-3

5-6

4-5

2-3

53

23

23

65

[stats from 2021 at Delaware]

It takes a special player to transfer from FCS to become the presumptive starter at a school coming off a College Football Playoff berth, but that’s what Coe bring to Cincinnati this season. The former Delaware Blue Hen kicked three of the five longest field goals in his conference last year, including a 53-yarder on the road at Rutgers.

Owen Daffer – East Carolina

Class: Sophomore - Hometown: Wilmington, North Carolina

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

19

23

82.6

0-0

9-9

8-9

1-3

1-2

54

39

41

96

 

Taking over for the program’s all-time leader in virtually every category, Daffer stepped in a freshman and didn’t miss a beat. He put up three 3-for-3 FG games, all on the road, the last of which he capped with a 54-yard winner as time expired to lift East Carolina to a 38-35 victory over Navy.

Jonah Dalmas – Boise State

Class: Junior – Hometown: Meridian, Idaho

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

26

28

92.9

0-1

11-11

9-9

6-6

0-1

47

38

39

116

 

A 2021 Groza semifinalist, Dalmas led all FBS kickers with 26 field goals last season, a remarkable total considering his 92.9% accuracy rate that finished 4th among those with at least 20 makes. Accuracy, in fact, has been his calling card, as his career 91.7% mark is the best among active FBS kickers with more than one season.  

Mitchell Fineran – Purdue

Class: Senior - Hometown: Fort Valley, Georgia

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

24

29

82.8

0-0

11-11

12-17

1-1

0-0

48

40

42

112

 

Purdue’s season ended on a high note thanks to Fineran, whose fourth field goal of the Music City Bowl was an overtime winner. It was his third 4-FG game in the team’s final five contests, a run that started with his 4-for-4, 16-point performance in the Boilermakers’ upset of then-undefeated Michigan State.

Blake Grupe – Notre Dame

Class: Senior - Hometown: Sedalia, Missouri

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

20

25

80.0

0-0

4-4

10-12

5-8

1-1

50

31

32

91

[stats from 2021 at Arkansas State]

A Groza semifinalist in 2019, Grupe rewrote the Arkansas State record book, finishing at the program’s all-time leader in field goals, extra points, and total scoring. He brings one of the country’s strongest resumes to Notre Dame, with 46 career field goals from at least 30 yards out, by far the most by any active kicker in the nation.  

Daniel Gutierrez – UNLV

Class: Senior – Hometown: Los Angeles, California

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

16

18

88.9

0-0

7-7

5-5

2-3

2-3

53

25

25

73

 

A 2021 Groza semifinalist, Gutierrez’s 88.9% accuracy mark was the third-highest in FBS by a kicker with multiple field goals from at least 50 yards out. That shouldn’t be a surprise from the most accurate kicker in UNLV history. He opened the year with a 4-for-4 FG game against Eastern Washington that included makes from 51 and 47 in the fourth quarter.

Seth Keller – Texas State

Class: Junior – Hometown: Colleyville, Texas

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

15

18

83.3

0-0

1-2

6-6

8-9

0-1

48

32

32

77

 

Keller became the first Texas State kicker to ever make 15 field goals in a season, helping him to a team-leading 77 points that were the most by a Bobcat since 2014. Among active kickers with two starting seasons, his 13 field goals from at least 40 yards out are the second-most in the country.

Casey Legg – West Virginia

Class: Senior – Hometown: Charleston, West Virginia

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

19

23

82.6

0-0

8-8

7-8

4-7

0-0

49

35

35

92

 

A 2021 Groza semifinalist, Legg made field goals in every one of West Virginia’s 12 games, including a stretch of five straight games with multiple kicks. He opened the season with 13 consecutive made field goals, just two shy of the program’s all-time record.

Cam Little – Arkansas

Class: Sophomore – Hometown: Moore, Oklahoma

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

20

24

83.3

0-0

7-7

6-7

6-7

1-3

51

46

46

106

 

Little’s 20 field goals were the second-most by a freshman last season, part of a stellar first year that saw him named to every major Freshman All-America team. Though his 4-for-4 game against Texas stands out, don’t overlook back-to-back 3-FG games in November in which Arkansas beat Mississippi State 31-28 and then a 16-13 overtime road win over LSU in which he kicked the game-winner from 37 yards out.  

Zack Long – Tulsa

Class: Senior – Hometown: Pacific, Missouri

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

22

23

95.7

0-0

7-7

7-7

7-7

1-2

50

35

36

101

 

No FBS kicker with more than a dozen attempts last season made them at a higher rate than Long, whose only miss all season came from 50 yards out on the road at Cincinnati. He made multiple field goals in eight games, including Tulsa’s final five contests, making 12 kicks in that span capped by a 3-for-3 performance in the Myrtle Beach Bowl.

Tyler Loop – Arizona

Class: Sophomore – Hometown: Lucas, Texas

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

12

12

100.0

0-0

5-5

5-5

2-2

0-0

42

12

12

48

 

The only kicker to stay perfect on double-digit attempts last season, Loop did everything the Wildcats asked of their first-year short-yardage specialist and led the team in total scoring. Now the team’s primary kicker, he’ll follow up a year that finished with a 3-for-3 field goal performance on the road against rival Arizona State.

Connor Lytton – Boston College

Class: Sophomore – Hometown: Christiansburg, Virginia

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

11

12

91.7

0-0

4-4

5-6

2-2

0-0

49

25

25

58

 

Were it not for an errant try against NC State, Lytton would have been Boston College’s first kicker to make it through a perfect season since Nate Freese in 2013. He put up two 11-point performances, one in a 41-34 overtime win over Missouri and the other with a pair of 4th quarter field goals to secure a 41-30 road win over Georgia Tech.

Harrison Mevis – Missouri

Class: Junior – Hometown: Warsaw, Indiana

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

23

25

92.0

1-1

3-3

5-5

11-13

3-3

56

41

41

110

 

A Groza semifinalist in both 2021 and 2020, Mevis enters his third season as arguably the nation’s top kicker. His 19 field goals from at least 30 yards last year are the most by a returning kicker, as are the 14 of those that came from at least 40 yards out. His 88.9% career accuracy rate is the best by an active kicker with at least 40 career attempts.

Jake Moody – Michigan

Class: Senior – Hometown: Northville, Michigan

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

23

25

92.0

0-0

6-6

13-13

3-5

1-1

52

56

56

125

 

The 2021 Lou Groza Award winner, Moody turned his first season as Michigan’s full-time kicker into the program’s finest season ever. During one six-game stretch of conference games, he made 18 field goals, including a 4-for-4 performance on the road at Nebraska in which he turned a 3-point deficit with 3 minutes remaining into a 32-29 victory.

Brayden Narveson – Western Kentucky

Class: Junior – Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

23

29

79.3

0-0

7-7

11-12

4-6

1-4

53

72

72

141

 

A Groza semifinalist in 2020, Narveson followed up the second-most accurate season in Western Kentucky history by tying the program record for the most field goals in a year. His 141 points not only smashed the Hilltopper record for kick-scoring but were the most by any kicker in FBS last season.

Jake Oldroyd – BYU

Class: Junior – Hometown: Southlake, Texas

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

9

13

69.2

0-0

1-1

6-7

2-4

0-1

49

42

43

69

 

A finalist for the 2020 Groza Award, Oldroyd carried forward an active field goal streak from that season and ultimately ran it to a BYU-record 16 consecutive made attempts. Among active kickers, his 16 career field goals from at least 40 yards out are tied for 8th in the country, the same rank as his career accuracy among kickers with at least 50 FG attempts.

Jack Podlesny – Georgia

Class: Senior – Hometown: Saint Simons Island, Georgia

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

22

27

81.5

0-0

10-10

7-9

5-8

0-0

49

71

72

137

 

A Groza semifinalist in 2020, Podlesny etched his name in the Georgia record books during the team’s National Championship run, posting the highest scoring season in program history. Among kickers with just two starting seasons, his 23 career field goals from at least 30 yards out are tied for second-most in the nation.

B.T. Potter – Clemson

Class: Senior – Hometown: Rock Hill, South Carolina

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

21

26

80.8

1-1

3-3

5-8

10-11

2-3

51

38

38

101

 

A Groza semifinalist in 2020, Potter became the first player in Clemson history to score 100 points in three straight seasons, aided by the program’s first 20-FG campaign since 2015. Among returning kickers, his 12 field goals from at least 40 yards were the second-most in the country and set a new single-season record at Clemson.

Will Reichard – Alabama

Class: Senior – Hometown: Hoover, Alabama

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

22

28

78.6

0-0

5-5

9-10

7-11

1-2

51

71

72

137

 

A finalist for the 2020 Groza Award, Reichard more than doubled his career field goal total last year, giving him a mark of 40 that ties for third among kickers with fewer than four playing seasons. Among that group, he is the leading scorer. He ended the year making multiple field goals in the Iron Bowl, SEC Championship, Cotton Bowl, and CFP National Championship, where he became the first kicker to make four FGs in the title game.

John Richardson – Northern Illinois

Class: Junior – Hometown: Orland Park, Illinois

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

22

27

81.5

0-0

10-11

6-8

6-7

0-1

47

42

42

108

 

A 2021 Groza semifinalist, Richardson set the Northern Illinois record for field goals in a season with 22. Five of those came in a triumphant 16-point performance against Toledo with his final kick lifting the Huskies to a 22-20 road win. Just a few weeks later he did it again, kicking the game-winner as time expired for a 30-29 victory over Ball State.

Noah Ruggles – Ohio State

Class: Senior – Hometown: Odessa, Florida

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

20

21

95.2

1-1

6-6

9-10

4-4

0-0

46

74

74

134

 

A finalist for the 2021 Groza Award, Ruggles capped both the most accurate and highest-scoring kicking season in Ohio State history with a last-second Rose Bowl winner. He went 4-for-4 on field goals at home against Penn State and then on the road at Nebraska, becoming the first Buckeye to turn the feat in consecutive games.  

Chad Ryland – Maryland

Class: Senior – Hometown: Ryland, Pennsylvania

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

19

22

86.4

0-0

4-4

8-10

5-6

2-2

55

47

47

104

[stats from 2021 at Eastern Michigan]

Ryland comes to Maryland having set virtually every kicking record over his four years at Eastern Michigan. He ranks as the Eagles’ career scoring leader, setting the program’s single-season mark in the process with last year’s 104 points. Among returning kickers who made multiple 50-yarders last year, his 86.4% accuracy ranked third in the country.

Jared Sackett – UTSA

Class: Senior – Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

5

7

71.4

0-0

2-2

3-4

0-1

0-0

39

10

10

25

[stats from 2020 at USF]

A Groza semifinalist back in 2017 and 2018 with UTSA, Sackett has only attempted 7 field goals since leaving San Antonio, spending time at both Arkansas and South Florida. Now he returns to the program where he was a star as both a freshman and sophomore, still ranking in the top-20 among active kickers in both total FGs and kicks from 40+ yards.

Matthew Shipley – Hawaii

Class: Junior - Hometown: Liberty Hill, Texas

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

18

21

85.7

0-0

7-7

4-4

7-10

0-0

49

42

42

96

 

A 2021 Groza semifinalist, Shipley’s 85.7% accuracy rate last season was the seventh-best among returning kickers who attempted at least 20 field goals. He kicked multiple field goals in 6 games, including what would be the game-winner over ranked Fresno State 27-24 and accounting for a season-high 14 points in a 50-45 win over Colorado State.

Spencer Shrader – USF

Class: Junior - Hometown: Lithia, Florida

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

11

13

84.6

0-0

4-4

2-2

4-5

1-2

52

35

35

68

 

A 2021 Groza semifinalist, Shrader stayed perfect for the first nine games of the season before snapping USF’s third-longest consecutive field goal streak in late November. His last make before the streak ended was a career-long 52 yarder against Temple, part of a 10-point game.

Andre Szmyt – Syracuse

Class: Senior - Hometown: Vernon Hills, Illinois

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

9

14

64.3

0-1

4-4

2-2

3-6

0-1

48

36

38

63

 

The 2018 Lou Groza Award winner as a freshman, Szmyt is now wrapping up a career that stands as one of the game’s best. His 65 career field goals are third among active kickers, but with a career accuracy rate of 82.3% that is better than anyone in the country with more than 40 makes.

Brandon Talton – Nevada

Class: Senior - Hometown: Vacaville, California

FGM

FGA

FG%

1-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50+

LONG

XPM

XPA

PTS

22

30

73.3

0-0

4-4

9-11

7-10

2-5

52

52

52

118

 

A Groza semifinalist in each of his first three seasons, Talton’s 41 career field goals from at least 30 yards out are the second-most in the country and top the next-closest three-year kicker by double-digits. He made multiple field goals in six straight games, capped by a 2-for-2 performance against San Jose State in which he hit from 51 yards and then from 45 with three seconds left for a 27-24 victory.

 

 

 

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