Nov. 5, 2003
West Palm Beach, FL – The Palm Beach County Sports Commission has announced the 20 semifinalists for the 2003 Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award and there’s an Iowa Hawkeye — and last year’s winner — in the mix. The award, which is presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl, will be given out during a ceremony on Tuesday, December 9, at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
Kaeding and the nationally ranked Iowa Hawkeyes play at Purdue Saturday in a nationally televised game that will impact the 2003 Big Ten Conference standings, national college football polls and the Bowl Championship Series. Game time is set for 2:30 p.m. Iowa time.
Among the 20 semifinalists is the 2002 Lou Groza Award winner Nate Kaeding from the University of Iowa, who has yet to miss a field goal this season. Also making the cut are the placekickers from some of the top ranked teams in the nation, including: Trey Dicarlo of Oklahoma, Ryan Killeen of Southern Cal, Xavier Beitia of Florida State, Jon Peattie of Miami and Nick Browne from undefeated TCU.
All Division I-A kickers are eligible for consideration for the Award. Voters for the award include Division I-A head coaches, sports writers and sportscasters, conference representatives, professional kickers, and previous Groza Award finalists. The three finalists for the Lou Groza Award will be announced on November 17.
The award, now in its 12th year, is named for NFL Hall-of-Fame kicker Lou 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. Nicknamed “The Toe,” Groza was one of the first people to truly make kicking an art form, and he helped usher in to football the idea that a player could be used exclusively for kicking.
The Lou Groza Award is presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl. Other sponsors include: Aim Riverside Press, BankAtlantic, Continental Airlines, ESPN, ESPN Radio 760, Florida Coca-Cola Bottling, JBS Destination Solutions, Palm Beach Kennel Club, Parallax Productions, Rooney’s Public House, The Breakers, The Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach Gardens Marriott and WPEC News 12.