Aug. 15, 2006
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - All three of last year's top three finalists plus UCLA senior Justin Medlock highlight the 2006 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Preseason Watch List.
The Watch List is comprised of the top 30 preliminary candidates for the 15th annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl. The top three finalists are honored during the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Banquet and Silent Auction on Tuesday, December 5, 2006, at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott. The winner is announced on Thursday, December 7, 2006 during the ESPN Home Depot College Football Award Show in Orlando, Florida.
Among kickers named to the Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List are all three Lou Groza Award finalists from last year, Mason Crosby of University of Colorado, Jad Dean of Clemson University, and Alexis Serna of Oregon State University.
UCLA senior Justin Medlock, who has made 42 of 56 career field goal attempts and 118 of 199 PATs, is also on the Watch List. Medlock enters his senior year ranked fourth (tied) in school history with his 42 field goals and eighth in career scoring with 244 points.
In 11 games in 2005, he scored 89 points to rank second on the squad behind Maurice Drew. Medlock converted 13 of 17 field goal attempts and all 50 PATs.
Also making the list are the place-kickers from some of the top rated teams this season. They include: Chris Hetland, University of Florida; Brandon Coutu, University of Georgia; Kyle Schlicher, Iowa; Arthur Carmody, University of Louisville; Garrett Rivas, University of Michigan; Jordon Congdon, University of Nebraska; Paul Martinez, University of Oregon; Chris Manfredini, TCU; James Wilhoit, University of Tennessee; Alex Trlica, Texas Tech; Brandon Pace, Virginia Tech.
A brief biography of each player on the Lou Groza Award Watch List can be found at www.lougrozaaward.com beginning August 16, 2006.
Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2005 season and 2006 preseason expectations. However, all Division I-A kickers are eligible for consideration for the award.
A panel of over 300 experts vote on the award, including Division I-A head coaches, sports writers and sportscasters, conference representatives, professional kickers and all previous Groza Award finalists.
The 20 semi-finalists for the Lou Groza Award are announced on Tuesday November 7, 2006, followed with the naming of the three finalists two weeks later on Tuesday, November 21, 2006.
The award, now in its 15th year, is named for National Football League (NFL) Hall-of-Fame kicker Lou 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. Nicknamed "The Toe," Groza was one of the first people to truly make kicking an art form, and he helped usher in to football the idea that a player could be used exclusively for kicking.
The Lou Groza Award is also sponsored by BankAtlantic, The Breakers, Continental Airlines, ESPN Radio 760, ESPN Regional Television, Florida Atlantic University Athletics, Florida Coca-Cola Bottling, Hartless Foundation, JBS Destination Solutions, Palm Beach Gardens Marriott, Palm Beach Kennel Club, The Palm Beach Post, Parallax Productions, PGA National Golf Club, Rooney's Public House, Team A-fin-ity Sportfishing and WPEC News-12.
For more information regarding the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, please go to www.lougrozaaward.com or contact Dusty Ann Williams at the Palm Beach County Sports Institute at (561) 233-3122.
FIRST LAST YEAR SCHOOL Jad Dean Sr. Clemson; Mason Crosby Sr. Colorado; Robert Lee Sr. East Carolina; Andrew Wellock Sr. Eastern Michigan; Chris Hetland Sr. Florida; Clint Stitser Jr. Fresno State; Brandon Coutu Jr. Georgia; Jason Reda Jr. Illinois; Kyle Schlicher Sr. Iowa; Danny Horwedel Jr. La. Tech; Arthur Carmody Jr. Louisville; Garrett Rivas Sr. Michigan; Jordon Congdon So. Nebraska; Kenny Byrd Sr. New Mexico; John Deraney Sr. North Carolina State; Bruce Redden Sr. Oklahoma State; Paul Martinez Sr. Oregon; Alexis Serna Jr. Oregon State; Jeremy Ito Jr. Rutgers Darren McCaleb Sr. Southern Mississippi; Chris Manfredini Jr. TCU; James Wilhoit Sr. Tennessee; Alex Trlica Jr. Texas Tech; Greg Whibbs Jr. Troy; Justin Medlock Sr. UCLA; Sergio Aguayo Jr. UNLV; Reagan Schneider Sr. UTEP; Brandon Pace Sr. Virginia Tech; Sam Swank So. Wake Forest; Taylor Mehlhaff Jr. Wisconsin;