Herd PK Smith on Groza list

Published 1:53 am Friday, July 8, 2016

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall junior kicker Nick Smith was named to the 2016 Lou Groza Place-kicker Award Watch List Thursday by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.

Three finalists will be named at a gala awards banquet in Palm Beach County on Dec. 5.

Smith, a 2015 semifinalist for the award, made 18-of-25 field goal attempts last season, including 3-for-4 in Thundering Herd’s 16-10 St. Petersburg Bowl victory over Connecticut.

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He was perfect on 48 PAT tries and his 102 points led the team. During one stretch, he converted 12 consecutive field goals, the second longest streak in program history to Craig Ratanamorn’s 16 in 2008-09.

Smith was also named to the 2015-16 Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

While the Watch List highlights thirty of the best returning kickers in the country, 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

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, Nov. 3.

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 by Tuesday, Nov. 22.

That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, December 8 during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.

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.