TU Kicker Salazar Named To Groza Award Watch List
TULSA - Tulsa place-kicker Carl Salazar has been named to the 30-player Watch List for the 2014 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, as announced by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. The award is given to the nation’s top place-kicker.
Florida State sophomore Roberto Aguayo, the 2013 Lou Groza winner, headlines the watch list. Aguayo won the 2013 Groza with an incredible freshman season in which he made 99.1% of all his kicks, shattering the all-time FBS record for a season with at least 15 field goals and 30 extra points.
Salazar, a senior from nearby Broken Arrow, connected on 16-of-19 field goals in 2013 as a walk-on transfer to the Golden Hurricane football team. He also knocked through 25-of-26 PATs and scored 73 points. After missing his first two collegiate field goal attempts in the 2013 season opener at Bowling Green, Salazar came back the next week to knock through 3-of-3 field goals, including the game-winning 34-yarder as time expired against Colorado State, giving Tulsa a 30-27 victory. He converted on his next eight field goals for a streak of 11 consecutive makes.
Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2013 season and 2014 expectations. All ten FBS conferences are represented among the 30 kickers, led by four each from the American, Big 12, Mountain West, and Pac-12.
Accomplishments are tabulated throughout the season and the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award will announce its 20 semifinalists on Thursday, November 6th. From this list, a panel of more than 300 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, and former Groza finalists selects the top three finalists for the award by Monday, November 24th. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, December 11th during the Home Depot College Football Awards, broadcast live from Orlando, Fla.
The 23rd Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl Committee, recognizes the three finalists during an early week celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet on December 9th, prior to joining ESPN in Orlando.
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.