2008 Groza Local Winners Sign National Athletic Scholarships.
Former Groza Winner Stars in Super Bowl.
Brandon Gibbons and Patrick O’Donnell, both co-winners of the 2008 Lou Groza Local Place-kicker of the Year Award signed college athletic scholarships on national signing day. Gibbons, a 6’-0”, 215 pound kicker who played for Cardinal Newman high school signed with the University of Michigan and 6’-4”, 185 pound kicker, O’Donnell of Palm Beach Central high school signed with the University of Cincinnati.
2008 marked the first time in Lou Groza history that two local kickers received the coveted award. Gibbons, an All American, went 11 for 13 field goal attempts in his senior year, seven of which were 40 yards or longer. O’Donnell made 9 of his 11 field goal attempts with a long of 52 yards.
They joined Groza Local Player of the Year Finalists, Nu’Keese Richardson, of Pahokee High School, 6’-0”, 170 pounds and Seminole Ridge High School’s Tyler Wilhelm, 6’-4”, 205 pounds in signing. Richardson, who played quarterback and receiver at Pahokee, had committed to Florida in May, but had a last minute “change of heart” and signed with Tennessee. Wilhelm signed with South Dakota.
Palm Beach County had a total of 55 high school players sign college athletic scholarships on February 4.
“This is nothing unusual for Palm Beach County,” said the Sports Commission’s Groza Committee Chair, Bill Davis. “We’re known as a ‘hot-bed’ for recruiting by universities such as Michigan (who signed three Palm Beach County players), Georgia, Virginia Tech, and others including Florida, Florida State and Miami. Each year it gets more and more difficult for the Groza Committee to choose our finalists. We have so many worthy candidates in Palm Beach County.” Davis added.
Groza Committee co-chair, John DeMott thinks Palm Beach County should be extremely proud of its football talent, especially after Super Bowl XLIII recently played in Tampa. Anquoin Boldin, who won the local Lou Groza Award in 1998 as Player of the Year and now a receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, is the first Lou Groza high school winner to play in a Super Bowl. Santonio Holmes, a Groza Player of the Year finalist in 2003 was the Super Bowl MVP for his game winning end zone catch for the Pittsburgh Steelers.