Earlier this week, the list of candidates for the 2010 Lou Groza Award was narrowed to three finalists. The winner will be announced on December 9th during The Home Depot College Football Awards show.
Dan Bailey, Oklahoma State
While kicking may look simple to the casual observer, it actually involves many elements. Early this month, Bailey discussed the importance of his shoes.
"I was going through warmups and I wasn’t hitting the ball very well. I couldn’t figure it out because I felt fine, and I looked down and the heel of my (plant foot) shoe had ripped apart from the sole. So, I was kind of forced to go to my backup pair....
When you wear them a long time, they kind of form to your foot. It’s almost like you’re not wearing shoes. The way they’re made, they’re real light. I just like them. They fit my feet just right. It’s hard to let them go....
I go to Hobby Lobby and buy a little thing of Super Glue. It’ll usually last for a few days or a game, then it’ll bust back open. Hopefully it’ll hold. I’m just trying to finish off the season the best I can."
Danny Hrapmann, Southern Miss
While discussing the award prospects of players on his team, Golden Eagles head coach Larry Fedora cast a strong vote for his kicker:
"I think that we have some guys that should be considered, but Danny Hrapmann might be our best candidate. I don't see how anyone could get it over him. If anyone was at that game [vs. Houston] the other night and saw him hit that 60-yard field goal, it was not his fault that it did not count. I can assure you of that. Danny has shown this year to me, at least on our football team, that I would have to give it to him."
David Ruffer, Notre Dame
Ruffer has not missed this year, going 15 of 15 on field goals. He recently discussed the rigors of kicking over the course of an entire season.
"You take it week by week. Some weeks are better than others. The bye week was late this year, so towards that seventh, eighth week, your leg starts to get a little tired.... You kick 70, 80 balls a week. Over the summer when I was training, it was at most 50 or 60. So those extra 20 or 30 balls don't sound like much, but it can wear you down. So you monitor it week by week, and when it's a little sore, I say, 'Hey, coach, can we take a few less reps today?'"