FSU Kicker, Graham Gano, Wins the Lou Groza Award
WEST PALM BEACH, FL: The Palm Beach County Sports Commission and the Lou Groza Award Committee announced last night on the live Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show that Graham Gano from Florida State University is the newest recipient of the Lou Groza Award. His Award marks the third time a Seminole has won the Award, no other university has won the Award more than once.
"This whole process was an experience I will remember for a lifetime, and everyone involved with the Lou Groza Award does an amazing job of making this so memorable," said Gano. "It is an honor to join the fraternity of Lou Groza Award winners."
Gano, a senior from Pensacola, Florida, was slated to become the first kicker in Bobby Bowden’s 33 years at Florida State to handle field goals, kick-offs and punts until two weeks before the start of the Seminoles' season, when he tore the meniscus in his right knee. After surgery and rehab, Gano was back on the field after missing just two games. He lined up for the first field goal attempt of his collegiate career from 52 yards, and missed that kick. It would be 55 days before he missed another field goal. Graham went on to make an FSU record, 18 consecutive field goals, including five straight attempts from 50 yards or more. He is the only kicker in school history to convert over 90% of his field goals in a season.
Gano beat out Utah's Louie Sakoda and Arkansas State's Josh Arauco for the Award. Sakoda was third in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 21 kicks made, while Arauco hit 17 of 20 kicks this year, including 15 in a row.
The Lou Groza Award is presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl and was also sponsored by The Breakers, Continental Airlines, Enterprise rent-a-car, ESPN Radio 760, ESPN Regional Television, a Local Organization, JBS Destination Solutions, McGladrey & Pullen LLP, Dr. Myles Runsdorf, CEO Play Like a Pro, The Palm Beach Canes Club, Palm Beach Kennel Club, The Palm Beach Post, Parallax Productions, Rooney’s Public House, Bus One LLC, The Tux Shop, and WPEC News 12.