the study of the kicking components within sports

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lou Groza Award 2011 Watch List, part 1

The annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award recently released their 2011 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 2010 season and 2011 pre-season expectations. Nine semi-finalists are returning from 2010. The Big 12 leads all conferences with 5 kickers on the Pre-season Watch List. The Big 10, ACC, and Big East each have 4 kickers on the list. The SEC and Pac-10, both represented in the 2011 BCS National Championship, have 3 kickers each on the list. 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 third of the watch list.


Michael Barbour, East Carolina
Barbour immediately provided stability to the Pirates' kicking game in 2010 after arriving as a transfer from Maryland. He established ECU single-season records for points after touchdowns (56) and total points by a kicker (104). The Oyster Bay, N.Y., native was a Conference USA Head Coaches Second-Team All-C-USA, Rivals.com Second-Team All-C-USA and Phil Steele Magazine Second-Team All-C-USA selection following the season. In addition, he was honored by his teammates with the program's newcomer-of-the-year award.
Casey Barth, North Carolina
Barth, a native of Wilmington, N.C., is the ACC's active career leader with 50 field goals. Last season, he earned honorable-mention All-ACC honors after converting 19 of 22 field goal attempts, including a long of 49, as well as all 38 extra point attempts. He owns the school record for most consecutive extra points made (currently at 71). He has not missed an extra point since the season opener in 2009. Barth enters the 2011 season needing just five made field goals to pass his brother, Connor, to become UNC's career record holder. Casey has three game-winning kicks to his credit, including a 23-yarder vs. Tennessee in last season's Music City Bowl and a 21-yarder at Virginia Tech in 2009.
Rob Beard, Oregon
2010: All-Pac-10 fourth team according to Phil Steele Publications. Ranked fourth in the Pac-10 and 36th nationally in scoring with an average of 8.08 points per game. Ranked eighth on the UO single-season scoring list with 97 points. Made his first eight field goal attempts of the season and finished 10 for 13. 769 FG percentage was good for 10th in a single season at Oregon. Averaged 64.5 yards on 95 kickoffs with 11 touchbacks. Hit on his first 59 PAT kicks of the year before missing following UO’s first touchdown at Oregon State.
Maikon Bonani, USF
2010: Played in all 13 games... handled the kickoff duties during the first nine games and the place-kicking duties for the last 11 games. made 17-of-21 field goal attempts, including four of over 40 yards. the 81.0 field goal percentage ranks first on USF's single-season list and was second in the BIG EAST. the 17 made field goals ranks second on USF's single-season list. was 13-for-13 on attempts under 40 yards and 17-of-19 on attempts under 50 yards. posted a season-long 47-yard field goal at West Virginia. tabbed BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Week after making 47 and 21-yard field goals and converting two extra points against Rutgers. hit three field goals of 42, 38 and 22 yards against Connecticut.
Randy Bullock, Texas A&M
Selected All-Big 12 Honorable Mention for the 2010 college football season as selected by the Big 12 coaches. Scoring a total of 98 points with 16-of-21 field goal attempts, and a perfect 50-of-50 extra point attempts. 2009: 12-for-19 on the season in field goals. was 51-for-51 on year in extra points and has made 70 in a row (71-of-72 in career). 51 XPts in `09 tied the school's single-season record. 2008 (freshman): Earned the starting place kicking job halfway through the season. made six of his seven field goal attempts and was a perfect six of six from inside 40 yards.
Dan Conroy, Michigan St.
Has made 94 percent of his field goals (15-for-16) and 98 percent of his PATs (45-for-46). his 14 consecutive field goals made to open his career marked the best start for a placekicker in MSU history; it also ranked as the second-longest streak in MSU history overall (record: 15 by Brett Swenson in 2008). has made five field goals from 40-plus yards. 2010: in his first year as the starting placekicker, went 14-for-15 in field goals to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors from both the coaches and media. also a first-team All-Big Ten selection by Rivals.com and CollegeFootballNews.com.
Derek Dimke, Illinois
Dimke was a semifinalist for the Groza Award last season, when he connected on 24 of 29 field goals to tie the UI record for made field goals in a season and earn second team All-Big Ten honors. His 115 points scored in 2010 broke Rashard Mendenhall’s school record (114 in 2007). Dimke did establish a new UI scoring mark for kickers, topping Neil Rackers’ 110 points in 1999. The Boylan graduate ranked sixth in the nation in field goals made per game last season (1.85) and connected twice from more than 50 yards, including a career-long 52-yarder in the season opener against Missouri. His career field goal accuracy of 85.3 percent is the highest in school history, just ahead of Peter Christofilakos’ record of 84.0 from 1999-02.
Ross Evans, TCU
2010: Appeared on the watch list for the Lou Groza Award, honoring the nation's top placekicker. ranked third in the Mountain West Conference in scoring with 101 points while tying for 48th nationally at 7.8 points per game. set a TCU single-game record with nine extra points in the 66-17 win at New Mexico. made his first eight field-goal attempts of the season. had a field goal in eight of the 13 games with three contests of multiple kicks made. had a season-long 43-yard effort at Colorado State. 11-of-13 on field goals for the season, making him 42-of-51 in his career. the 42 field goals moved him into fourth all-time at TCU. his TCU single-season record 68 extra-points made gave him the Horned Frogs' career PAT mark of 178.
Mitch Ewald, Indiana
Ewald finished his first season as a Hoosier 16-for-19 on field goals in 2010. The 16 field goals tied Bill Manolopoulos for the third most on IU’s single-season list. He also hit all 33 of his extra point opportunities. The 33 extra points were the seventh most on the school’s single-season list. The Naperville, Ill., native earned Big Ten All-Freshman honors from both ESPN.com and Rivals.com last year. Ewald became the first Hoosier to collect Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors and the first to card Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week since 2007, following his game-winning field goal at Purdue.

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