Another day, another Buckeye in line to potentially win a national award. This time it’s senior kicker Blake Haubeil, who was named Wednesday to the Lou Groza Award Watch List.
The Groza Award goes to the nation’s top place kicker. It has been awarded since 1992, but Mike Nugent (2004) is the only Buckeye to win it.
Haubeil is a perfect 122-for-122 on PATs in his collegiate career and has hit 23 of 28 career field goal attempts.
You can find the full release from the Lou Groza Award below.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Headlined by two returning finalists, a previous winner, a dozen former semifinalists, and some of the best emerging talent in college football, it’s a highly competitive year on the thirty-player Watch List for the 2020 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, as announced by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
Last year’s Groza winner, Rodrigo Blankenship, is now an Indianapolis Colt, but his fellow finalists Iowa senior Keith Duncan and Washington State junior Blake Mazza are back to vie for the award. Also returning is Syracuse junior and 2018 Groza winner Andre Szmyt, who could become just the second player to ever win the award multiple times, joining Sebastian Janikowski who won in 1998 and 1999.
Among the players on the Watch List are all 10 returning FBS kickers who made more than 20 field goals last season while connecting at least 80% of the time: Duncan (29, 85.3%), Kent State junior Matthew Trickett (29, 85.3%), Wake Forest junior Nick Sciba (24, 96.0%), East Carolina senior Jake Verity (24, 82.8%), Memphis senior Riley Patterson (23, 92.0%), Tennessee senior Brent Cimaglia (23, 85.2%), Arizona State junior Cristian Zendejas (23, 85.2%), San Diego State sophomore Matt Araiza (22, 84.6%), NC State junior Christopher Dunn (21, 87.5%), and Nevada sophomore Brandon Talton (21, 84.0%).
Among returning kickers who made more at least 10 field goals, only eight connected at a rate of at least 90%, and all of them found their way to the Watch List: Oklahoma sophomore Gabe Brkic (100%), Sciba (96.0%), Mazza (95.2%), Patterson (92.0%), Penn State junior Jake Pinegar (91.7%), Texas Tech sophomore Trey Wolff (90.9%), Washington junior Peyton Henry (90.5%), and Kansas State senior Blake Lynch (90.5%).
The Watch List also includes the only four returning FBS kickers who scored at least 120 points last season: LSU sophomore Cade York (152), Patterson (134), Trickett (126), and Ohio State senior Blake Haubeil (124).
While the Watch List highlights 30 of the best returning kickers in the country, the Groza Committee will be watching all FBS kickers throughout the season, and releasing a weekly “Stars of the Week” feature on www.lougrozaaward.com. All FBS kickers remain eligible to be selected as semifinalists.
Accomplishments are tabulated throughout the season and the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award will announce its 20 semifinalists on Thursday, November 5th. From this list, a panel of more than 100 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists, and current NFL kickers selects the top three finalists for the award, announced on Tuesday, November 24th. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, December 10th during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN.
The 29th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl, recognizes the three finalists during a celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet at West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center for the Performing Arts on December 7th.
The Award is named for National Football League 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 as well, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.
For more information on the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award and to see the “Stars of the Week” throughout the season, please go to www.lougrozaaward.com. For even more updates on the best kicking performances throughout the season, follow @LouGrozaAward on Twitter.