Groza Pre-season Watch List Announced
July 7, 2011
Contact: Kris Pursell, Director of Operations
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Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award
Announces 2011 Pre-season Watch List
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Danny Hrapmann, David Ruffer and Blair Walsh, all finalists for previous Groza Awards, head up the 30 player watch list released today by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. The only previous Groza winner to repeat is current Oakland Raider kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who received the honor in 1998 & 1999, while playing for Florida State.
Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2010 season and 2011 pre-season expectations. Nine semi-finalists are returning from 2010, including Michigan State junior Dan Conroy, who was twice the recipient of the National Placekicker of the Week award and whose 93.3% field goal percentage was fifth in the nation in kicking accuracy. Duke University senior Will Synderwine, a two-time Lou Groza Award semi-finalist, is first among active kickers nationally in career field goals made per game (1.65) and third in career field goal percentage (0.864). Sophomore Ross Krautman of Syracuse University, named a freshman All-American by Sporting News and Rivals.com, lead the Big East in field goal accuracy by converting on 18 of his 19 field goal attempts. The Big 12 leads all conferences with 5 kickers on the Pre-season Watch List. The Big 10, ACC, and Big East each have 4 kickers on the list. The SEC and Pac-10, both represented in the 2011 BCS National Championship, have 3 kickers each on the list. The Groza Committee will be watching all FBS kickers during the season, and releasing a weekly “Stars of the Week” feature on www.lougrozaaward.com.
Accomplishments are tabulated throughout the season and the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award announces its 20 semi-finalists on Friday, October 28, 2011. From this list, a panel of over 300 experts selects the top three (3) finalists for the award by Monday, November 21, 2011. That same group then selects the national winner which will be announced Thursday, December 8, 2011, during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Award Show, broadcast live from Orlando, FL.
The 20th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl Committee, recognizes the three (3) finalists during an early week celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet on December 6, prior to joining ESPN in Orlando.
The Award, is named for National Football League (NFL) Hall of Fame kicker Lou “The Toe” Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Although an “All Pro” offensive lineman, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.
For more information regarding the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award and to follow the season progress, please go to www.lougrozaaward.com.
National College Football Awards Association
The Lou Groza Place Kicker Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official website, ncfaa.org.
The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 13-day period this month. Fifteen of the association's 21 awards select a preseason watch list and this is the first time the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award's preseason candidates. Following is the complete 2011 preseason watch list calendar:
Tues., July 5: Maxwell Award/Bednarik Award