2009 Lou Groza Award recipient Kai Forbath of UCLA is hoping to become the second college place kicker to earn back-to-back awards as the 2010 college football season begins. Forbath heads 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 2009 season and 2010 pre-season expectations. Fifteen semi-finalists are returning from 2009, including Boise State senior Kyle Brotzman, whose 117 points in 2009, was third in the nation in kick scoring and leads those returning this season. Junior Grant Ressel of the University Missouri leads the list in accuracy, making 26 of his 27 tries for the Tigers. The only other previous Groza Award recipient on this year's list is Arizona State senior Thomas Weber (2007). The Pacific Ten leads the conferences with 6 players on the list. The ACC and SEC have landed 5 kickers each. 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 29, 2010. From this list, a panel of over 300 experts selects the top three (3) finalists for the award by Monday, November 22, 2010. That same group then selects the national winner which will be announced Thursday, December 9, 2010, during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Award Show, broadcast live from Orlando, FL.
The 19th 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 7, 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.