the study of the kicking components within sports

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lou Groza Award 2010 Watch List, part 1

The annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award recently released their 2010 Preseason Watch List. The following comes from the official press release:

Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2009 season and 2010 pre-season expectations. Fifteen semi-finalists are returning from 2009. The Pacific Ten leads the conferences with 6 players on the list. The ACC and SEC have landed 5 kickers each. The Groza Committee will be watching all FBS kickers during the season, and releasing a weekly “Stars of the Week” feature.

The award, is named for National Football League (NFL) 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, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.

In alphabetical order, following is the first half of the watch list.

Earned Second-team All-ACC honors after making 21 of 25 field goals. Led the ACC with 21 field goals and ranked 12th in the country with 1.62 field goals made per game. Tied the UNC single season record for field goals made with 21. Made 34 of 35 extra points on the season, including 33 consecutive after missing in the season opener.

Tyler Bitancurt, West Virginia University
Selected First-team All-BIG EAST Conference by the league coaches, ESPN.com, The Sporting News, rivals.com and Second team by Phil Steele. Earned the starting kicker position during the 2009 preseason and has proven to be a valuable scoring asset for the Mountaineer offense. Clutch kicker, having kicked four field goals twice (Liberty, Pitt) last year and hit the game-winner as time expired against Pitt.

Matt Bosher, University of Miami
Bosher, a double threat with both the ability to kick and punt, was selected First team All-ACC as a kicker and Second team All-ACC as a punter in 2009. He hopes to start the 2010 season the way he finished 2009, with 12 consecutive field goals (second most in school history).

Kyle Brotzman, Boise State University
Kyle has connected on 179 of 180 extra point attempts over his 3 seasons as a starting place kicker. For the second straight year he led his team in scoring as well as leading the nation's kickers with 117 total points in 2009.

A 2009 Lou Groza Award semi-finalist, Wes was second in the NCAA between kickers with 10 or more field goals, with a 93.8% field goal success rate. Byrum connected on a 21 yard field goal in overtime of the Outback Bowl against Northwestern that proved to be the game winner.

Second team All Big Ten selection and a Lou Groza Award semi-finalist in 2009, Demos handled all of NU's punting, place kicking and kickoff duties. Named First team All Big Ten selection by Sporting News and Phil Steele.

First-team All-Mountain West Conference. Evans topped the MWC in scoring with 106 points while tying for 29th nationally at 8.2 points per game. He set a TCU single-season record with 61 extra point attempts made.

Folk turned in an excellent season in his first year as the Huskies' No. 1 kicker, connecting on 18 of 21 field goal attempts and 35 of 35 PAT tries. He was named the 950 KJR Special Teams MVP at the team's post season awards banquet and earned honorable mention Academic All-Pac-10. His field goal percentage of .857 (18-for-21) was third-best in UW history.

Kai Forbath, UCLA
Winner of the Lou Groza Award in 2009. Consensus All-America kicker. He was a second team selection by AP and first-team All-Pac-10 by the league's coaches. Tri-winner of UCLA's Outstanding Special Teams Player. Kai made 28 of 31 field goals and 24 of 25 PATs for 108 points. Made all 25 attempts from inside 50 yards and was three of six from 50 yards or more.

A 2009 Lou Groza Award semi-finalist, Gendreau hit 18 of 22 of his field goals in 2009 as well as all but one of his 51 PATS. Named 1st Team, All Sunbelt by the league coaches and media, Gendreau set school records for field goals made (18), total points (104), and consecutive made field goals (12).

Kevin Goessling, Fresno State
A 2009 Lou Groza Award semi-finalist. In his sophomore year, Kevin Goessling made 15 straight field goals after missing his first attempt. He's made 22 of 24 going back to the '08 season and was a perfect 51 for 51 on PATS. Goessling was selected to the All-WAC First Team by WAC head coaches in 2009.

Alex Henery returns for his senior season after putting together three of the finest seasons for a place-kicker in Nebraska school history and earning the distinction as a 2009 Lou Groza Award semi-finalist. Henery was one of only three players to rank in the top 50 nationally in both field goals and punting average in '09. His 24 field goals this past season broke the Huskers' single season record.

Dustin Hopkins, Florida State University
As a true freshman, Hopkins won the starting job for the Seminoles in pre-season competition and went on to lead the team in scoring with 97 points. He made his first field goal of his college career from 52 yards against Miami. With improved leg strength and consistency, the Seminoles expect to get a big boost from Hopkins in the 2010 season.

Daniel Hutchins, University of Pittsburgh
Dan Hutchins played a prominent role in the Panthers '09 season, earning All-Big East as a kicker and leading the conference in scoring, field goals, and field goal percentage. Hutchins' 115 points broke the 33 year old school record previously held by Carson Long. He set the Meineke Car Care Bowl record with 4 field goals including the game winner with 52 seconds left on the clock.

Josh Jasper heads into the 2010 season as LSU's all-time leader in field goal percentage (.864) having made 19 of 22. He's one of only 4 players in LSU history that has made multiple field goals from 50 yards and beyond. Jasper has a strong leg and great accuracy. He was 17 of 20 in 2009 with 6 field goals beyond 40 yards.

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