The 18th annual quest to name the finest place kicker in college football's FBS division (Division1-A) begins as the Palm Beach County Sports Commission unveils its pre-season watch list of thirty. Headlining the group are UCLA pre-season All-America selection Kai Forbath, 2008 finalist Josh Arauco of Arkansas State and 2007 Lou Groza Award recipient Thomas Weber of Arizona State.
In 2008, Forbath earned third-team honors from Associated Press. In 2007, he became the first Bruin to record five field goals of at least 50 yards in length during a season as a freshman and has made all six career attempts from 50 yards or more. He enters his junior year with 44 field goals to rank fifth on UCLA's career list and a string of 13 consecutive made field goals.
Nine 2008 semi-finalists are named to the list including seniors, Arauco, Leigh Tiffin of Alabama, Sam Glusman of Troy State and Jonathan Phillips of Florida. Eighteen of the kickers listed are under classmen. The SEC is the most recognized conference with five members included. The Big Ten and Big Twelve each placed four kickers on the list.
More than three hundred media representatives, coaches, past recipients, conference and university officials make up the voting panel which selects the recipient of the Lou Groza Collegiate Place Kicking Award. The Award will be presented on Dec. 10, 2009, as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards program. The three finalists will be honored at the 18th annual Lou Groza Award Banquet to be held at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Florida on Tuesday Dec. 8.