the study of the kicking components within sports

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Martin Gramatica Wins 1997 Lou Groza Award



"After sitting out last season with a knee injury, Kansas State's Martin Gramatica won the Lou Groza Award Tuesday night as the nation's best placekicker. Gramatica, a junior from LaBelle, Fla., who grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, made 19 of 20 field-goal tries for the 10th-ranked Wildcats (10-1), who will meet Syracuse in the Fiesta Bowl. 'I think I'm still speechless,' Gramatica said. 'It's really an honor to win the Lou Groza Award. There will never be another Lou Groza.' The 5-foot-9 Gramatica made a Big 12-record 55-yarder and connected twice from 52 yards. His only miss was a 45-yarder in a victory over Oklahoma. He made 37 of 38 extra points and became Kansas State's career scoring leader with 218 points.

Coming off the knee injury made the award and his big season more special, Gramatica said. 'Last year after I got hurt I never expected to come back an have a season like this,' he said. 'I owe it all to God for giving me strength to come back, and my family was behind me 1,000 percent.' Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, Gramatica said, 'was like a father to me.' 'The day I got hurt he was the first person there,' Gramatica said. 'He got me the best doctors. That's why I don't get homesick when I have people like I have at Kansas State.' Gramatica said there was a moment early this year when he knew he was back all the way from the injury. 'The one that made me feel I could do the job was the 52-yarder against Ohio in the second game,' he said. 'After I saw that ball go through the upright, something hit me that I was going to have a good year. I had all the confidence in the world.'

Gramatica received 48 of 109 first-place votes from a panel of reporters, conference commissioners, previous winners and NFL kickers." - AP

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