the study of the kicking components within sports

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lou Groza Award 2011 Watch List, part 3

The annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award recently released their 2011 Preseason Watch List.

In alphabetical order, following is the final third of the watch list.

Grant Ressel, Missouri
Ressel, who has been a Groza semi-finalist each of the last two years, has made a combined 96.2% (127-of-132) of his total kicks over the last two seasons (43-of-46 FGs, and 84-of-86 PATs). In 2010, Ressel went 17-of-19 on field goals and led the Tigers with 96 points scored. That followed his amazing break out season in 2009, when he won 1st-Team All-American honors after breaking an NCAA single-season combined kick accuracy record (made 65-of-66 overall kicks that season, for a 98.5% success rate).
Bryson Rose, Mississippi
A preseason All-SEC pick by Phil Steele, Rose earned first team Sophomore All-America honors a year ago after connecting on 16-of-18 field goals and 43-of-44 PATs. In his first season as the starter, he finished third in the SEC in field goals per game and fifth in scoring among kickers. Rose is looking to become the second Groza Award recipient in school history, joining 2003 Rebel winner Jonathan Nichols.
David Ruffer, Notre Dame
He was the first Irish player in school history to be named a finalist for the award in 2010. Ruffer simply had the most accurate and productive season ever by an Irish kicker last year. He connected on 18 of his 19 field goal attempts, including each of his first 18. Ruffer actually established school records for consecutive field goals made in a career (23, longest in the NCAA FBS at the time), consecutive field goals made in a season (18, longest in the NCAA FBS at the time) and single-season field goal percentage (.947). The 18 field goals in a single season ranked as the third-most in school history. He also became the second Irish place kicker to ever register multiple field goals of 50 yards or longer in the same season.
Jimmy Stevens, Oklahoma
This is the third year in a row that Stevens has been among the 30 players named to the preseason watch list for the Groza Award, but he has never been part of the group of 20 semifinalists announced later in the season. A native of Oklahoma City, Stevens has struggled with inconsistency at times. He was benched at the beginning of last year in favor of Patrick O'Hara, but he regained his starting spot in Week 4. He finished the season strong, making 12 of his final 13 field goal attempts.
Will Snyderwine, Duke
A two-time semifinalist for the award, enters his final season having made 38-of-44 (.864) field goals and all 56 of his PAT attempts. Among active players nationally, he ranks first in career field goals made per game (1.65) and third in career field goal percentage. Last year, the Potomac, Md., native was a first team All-America selection by the American Football Coaches Association after booting a school single-season record 21 field goals and totaling 95 points - the second-highest single-season total in Duke history.
Dave Teggart, Connecticut
Teggart had a dramatic flair in 2010 with a pair of game-winning field goals as the Huskies made their run to the BCS. In the UConn record book, he is first in career field goals, first in single-season field goals, first in single-season consecutive extra points, second in career extra points, second in career points. Has made all 99 of his extra points attempts in his career. Teggart earned first team All-BIG EAST honors in 2010 and also earned All-ECAC honors. He is a member of the BIG EAST All-Academic team. He became UConn's starting kicker midway through the 2008 season and made his first 11 collegiate field goal attempts.
Justin Tucker, Texas
Tucker is a fourth-year kicker who has handled the kickoff duties in 39 games and placekicking duties in 12 games and has kicked off 258 times for an average of 62.9 ypk and 52 touchbacks. He is 23-of-27 (.852) on field goal attempts and 27-for-27 on PAT attempts for 96 career points. His .852 FG percentage ranks second on UT's career list. Tucker is also a rugby-style punter who has punted 92 times for 3,812 yards (41.4 ypk), including 17 over 50 yards, while landing 40 inside the 20. He has posted 15 career special-teams tackles and appeared in all 12 games in 2010 when he was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection. Tucker was a prep All-American and two-time all-district performer and a versatile athlete who also saw action at cornerback, free safety and wide receiver as a prepster. He is a three-time member of UT's Athletics Director's Honor Roll.
Blair Walsh, Georgia
A native of Boca Raton, Fla., Walsh has already been named to Phil Steele and Lindy’s Preseason All-America First Team. The winner of the 2009 College Football Performance Awards Place-Kicker Trophy ranks fourth in UGA history with 303 point scored and has eight field goals over 50 yards in his career. Walsh has been named to UGA’s Team of the Decade following three years as the Bulldogs’ kicker. He has the highest field goal percentage for any active kicker in the SEC (81 percent) and has drilled 138 of 139 PATs, including his first 119 in a row.
Philip Welch, Wisconsin
Welch was a semifinalist for the Groza Award as a freshman in 2008, when he converted 20-of-24 field goals on his way to Freshman All-America honors. He also was named to the Groza preseason watch list as a sophomore in 2009. Welch scored 118 points for the Badgers last season, the third-highest total of any of this year’s Groza candidates. That total marked the Badgers’ school record for a kicker and ranks as the fourth-highest single-season scoring total in UW history. He also set single-season school records for both extra points attempted and extra points made, converting all 67 of his PAT tries in 2010. Welch also was good on 17 of 22 field goal attempts on the season, an accuracy of 77.2 percent. For his career, Welch holds UW’s school records for extra points attempted (156), extra points made (153) and extra-point percentage (.981). Welch also ranks No. 2 all-time at UW with both his 54 made field goals and his field goal percentage of .771.
Alex Zendejas, Arizona
Zendejas connected on 14 of 19 field goals for the Arizona Wildcats last season, earned a College Football Performance Award for his success against UCLA, and finished as the UA's leading scorer for the second consecutive season. Zendejas, who will be a senior, has connected on 75 percent of his career field-goal attempts.

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