Aug. 10, 2004
UCLA sophomore Justin Medlock and and Ole Miss' Jonathan Nichols, last year's winner, highlight the 2004 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Preseason Watch List. The Watch List is comprised of the top 30 preliminary candidates for the 13th annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl. The finalists for the award will be honored at a banquet held on Tuesday, December 7, 2004 at the West Palm Beach Marriott. The award will then be presented at the 2004 ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Thursday, December 9, 2004 in Orlando. In 2003, Medlock made his debut as the team's place kicker and was named to The Sporting News Pac-10 All-Freshman team. On the year, he was the team's leading scorer with 68 points and his 5.23 average was 11th in the Pac-10. He ranked fourth in field goals per game (1.08) and in field goal percentage (.737). He made 14 of 19 field goals and all 26 PAT attempts. Among the kickers named to the Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List are Nichols, last year's winner, and former finalists, Trey DiCarlo of Oklahoma, Mike Nugent of Ohio State and Jared Siegel of Oregon. A brief biography of each player on the Lou Groza Award Watch List can be found at www.lougrozaaward.com. The kickers on the Lou Groza Award Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2003 season and preseason expectations. However, all Division I-A kickers are eligible for the award. A panel of nearly 400 experts votes 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 will be announced in early November, followed with the naming of the three finalists two weeks later. The award, now in its 13th year, is named for 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.