Pace Receives Preseason Honor
Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Announces 2005 Preseason Watch List
August 12, 2005

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Kickers from some of the top-ranked teams in the country, as well as a finalist from last season, highlight the 2005 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Preseason Watch List, which was announced Friday. The Preseason Watch List is comprised of the top 30 preliminary candidates for the 14th annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl.

The 2005 winner of the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award is announced on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2005 during the ESPN Home Depot College Football Award Show in Orlando, Fla. The top three finalists for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award are honored during the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Banquet and Silent Auction on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005, at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott.

Among kickers named to the Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List is a Lou Groza Award finalist from last year, Andrew Wellock of Eastern Michigan University. Also making the list are the place-kickers from some of the top rated teams this season. They include Jesse Ainsworth, Arizona State University; John Vaughn, Auburn University; Kyle Schilcher, University of Iowa; Arthur Carmody, University of Louisville; Stephen Gostkowski, University of Memphis; Garrett Rivas, University of Michigan; Josh Cummings, University of Pittsburgh; Ben Jones, Purdue University; James Wilhoit, University of Tennessee; and Brandon Pace, Virginia Tech.

Pace, a junior from Virginia Beach, was a semifinalist for the award last year and earned first-team All-ACC honors in 2004.

A brief biography of each player on the Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List can be found at beginning Aug. 31. Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2004 season and 2005 preseason expectations. However, all Division I-A kickers are eligible for consideration for the award.

A panel of over 300 experts vote on the award, including Division I-A head coaches, sports writers and sportscasters, conference representatives, professional kickers and all previous Groza Award finalists. The 20 semi-finalists for the Lou Groza Award are announced on Monday, Oct. 31, 2005, followed with the naming of the three finalists two weeks later on Monday, Nov. 14, 2005.

The award, now in its 14th year, is named for National Football League (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 also sponsored by BankAtlantic, The Breakers, Continental Airlines, ESPN Radio 760, ESPN Regional Television, Florida Coca-Cola Bottling, JBS Destination Solutions, Palm Beach Kennel Club, The Palm Beach Post, Parallax Productions, Rooney's Public House and WPEC News Channel 12.

2005 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Preseason Watch List
Jesse Ainsworth, Arizona State University, Jr.
John Vaughn, Auburn University, Jr.
Justin Medlock, UCLA, Jr.
Mason Crosby, University of Colorado, Jr.
Matt Nuzie, University of Connecticut, Jr.
Andrew Wellock, Eastern Michigan University, Jr.
Travis Bell, Georgia Tech, So.
Kyle Schlicher, University of Iowa, Jr.
Sean Comiskey, University of Louisiana Lafayette, Sr.
Danny Horwedel, Louisiana Tech University, So.
Arthur Carmody, University of Louisville, So.
Stephen Gostkowski, University of Memphis, Sr.
Jon Peattie, University of Miami, Jr.
Garrett Rivas, University of Michigan, Jr.
Colby Smith, Middle Tennessee State University, Jr.
Connor Barth, University of North Carolina, So.
Nick Bazaldua, University of North Texas, Sr.
D.J. Fitzpatrick, University of Notre Dame, Sr.
Alexis Serna, Oregon State University, So.
Josh Cummings, University of Pittsburgh, Sr.
Ben Jones, Purdue University, Sr.
Josh Brown, University of South Carolina, Sr.
Darren McCaleb, University of Southern Mississippi, Jr.
James Wilhoit, University of Tennessee, Jr.
David Pino, University of Texas, Sr.
Todd Pegram, Texas A&M University, Sr.
Reagan Schneider, University of Texas at El Paso, Jr.
Connor Hughes, University of Virginia, Sr.
Brandon Pace, Virginia Tech, Jr.
Deric Yaussi, University of Wyoming, Sr.