During the past 20 years, many things have helped mold college football into the game that it is today. Near the top of that list is the increased importance of the kicking game. It used to be that place-kickers were local, non-scholarship athletes who made good. Now, top high school and prep kickers are as highly recruited as some quarterbacks and wide receivers. With national championships often won or lost on one swing of the leg, the importance of having a top kicker cannot be understated.
Since the first Lou Groza Award was handed out in 1992, 26 finalists, including 14 winners, have gone on to appear in the NFL, earning 10 trips to the Pro Bowl and taking home six Super Bowls. The Lou Groza Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boasts over 800 recipients dating back to 1935.