ACC Has Six Selected to Lou Groza Preseason Watch List
Conference Has the Most Placekickers Selected of Any Conference Nationally
GREENSBORO, N.C.—Led by 2013 Lou Groza Award-winner Roberto Aguayo of Florida State, the Atlantic Coast Conference had six placekickers—the most of any conference nationally—named to the preseason watch list for the 24th annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, which is given annually by the Palm Beach Sports Commission to the top placekicker in the nation.
The total preseason watch list of 30 placekickers was announced Wednesday. This year’s award is sponsored by the Capital One Orange Bowl Committee.
Aguayo (Mascotte,Fla.), who also was a finalist for Groza last year, leads all returning placekickers nationally in career field goal percentage with 20 or more attempts, having made 92.3 percent of his career field goal attempts (48 of 52) and all 155 of his extra point tries.
Aguayo and Maryland’s Brad Craddock, the 2014 Groza winner, are seeking to become only the second kicker in history to win the Groza twice. Former FSU consensus All-American Sebastian Janikowski captured the Groza in 1998 and 1999 to become the only two-time winner in the Award’s history.
All six ACC members of this year’s preseason watch list were also Groza semifinalists last year including Aguayo, Duke senior Ross Martin (Solon, Ohio), who ranks sixth among returnees with at least 20 field goal attempts, in career field goal percentage (.825, 52 of 63), Virginia senior Ian Frye (Bristol, Va.), Clemson senior Ammon Lakip (Johns Creek, Ga.), Syracuse sophomore Cole Murphy (Castaic, Calif.), and Louisville senior John Wallace (Cecilia, Ky.).
In addition to Aguayo winning the Groza in 2013, previous winners from current ACC schools include Janikowski, Graham Gano of Florida State (2008), Arthur Carmody of Louisville (2006) and Marc Primanti of NC State (1996).
Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2014 season and 2015 expectations. All 10 FBS conferences are represented among the 30 kickers, led by the ACC with six, the Pac-12 with five, and the Big 12 with four. The Big Ten, MAC and SEC each placed three kickers, followed by a pair each from the American and Conference USA. The Mountain West and the Sun Belt each placed one kicker.
Semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award will be announced November 5, while the three finalists will be unveiled November 23. The winner of the 2015 Lou Groza Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 10.
The Groza Award recognizes the three finalists during an early week celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet at the Palm Beach County Convention Center 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.
The ACC members of the 2015 preseason Lou Groza Watch List are:
Roberto Aguayo Florida State 4852 .923 Jr.-R Mascotte, Fla.
Ian Frye Virginia 2836 .778 Sr.-R Bristol, Va.
Ammon Lakip Clemson 2230 .733 Sr.-R Johns Creek, Ga.