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.











Syracuse Kicker Andre Szmyt Wins

The Lou Groza Collegiate

Place-Kicker Award


WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. – During Thursday night’s live Home Depot College Football Awards, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission announced Syracuse University freshman Andre Szmyt as the winner of the 2018 National Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award.

"I’d like to thank the Palm Beach County Sports Commission for this honor,” said Szmyt. “I am proud to be nominated this year along with Cooper and Cole, two very talented kickers. I’m so honored and appreciative of this award.”

In his first season of college football, Szmyt led the nation in both field goals and kick-scoring. Connecting on 28 of his 32 attempts, the freshman set a new ACC single-season record and finished the year with three more makes than any other kicker in the country. But his season is about so much more than just that one number. The 28 field goals include a perfect 3-for-3 mark on kicks from at least 50 yards. Against Pittsburgh, he connected on a season-long 54 yarder to give the Orange the lead late in the fourth quarter. It was his third field goal of the game, part of a stretch of four straight games in which he made three kicks. In fact, he made multiple field goals in each of the first ten games of the season, culminating in a 4-for-4 performance against Louisville. It’s no surprise then that he also scored double-digit points in each of those first ten games, helping him to a season total of 141. He led all players, regardless of position, in points per game with 11.8, becoming just the second kicker in FBS history to lead the nation in the category. While his totals grab the headlines – including a perfect 57-for-57 on extra point attempts – it didn’t come at the expense of accuracy. His 87.5 field goal percentage tied for 2nd in the nation by kickers with more than 20 attempts.

Szmyt edged out Wyoming junior Cooper Rothe and LSU senior Cole Tracy for the award. Rothe led the nation with a 94.1% field goal rate. Tracy finished just behind Szmyt with 25 field goals, including the first walk-off winner in 125 years of Tigers football.

Szmyt is the first Groza winner from Syracuse, first Orange finalist, and just third freshman to ever win the award. The national panel of voters is comprised of FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists, and current NFL kickers. Since the first Lou Groza Award was handed out in 1992, 26 finalists, including 14 winners, have gone on to appear in the NFL, earning 10 trips to the Pro Bowl and taking home six Super Bowls.


About the 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 24 awards boast over 750 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit to learn more about our story.


About 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

2195 Southern Blvd.
Suite 550
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Fax: (561) 233-3125



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