Pace named to Groza Watch List
Senior one of 30 on the initial list
August 15, 2006

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - All three of last year's top three finalist and kickers from some of the top-ranked teams in the country highlight the 2006 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Preseason Watch List. Included on the list is Virginia Tech senior Brandon Pace, who is a two-time semifinalist for the award.

The Watch List is comprised of the top 30 preliminary candidates for the 15th annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl. The top three finalists are honored during the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Banquet and Silent Auction on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott. The winner is announced on Thursday, Dec. 7 during the ESPN Home Depot College Football Award Show in Orlando, Fla.

Among kickers named to the Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List a Lou Groza Award finalist from last year, Mason Crosby of University of Colorado, Jad Dean of Clemson University and Alexis Serna of Oregon State University.

Also making the list are the place-kickers from some of the top rated teams this season. They include: Chris Hetland, University of Florida; Brandon Coutu, University of Georgia; Kyle Schlicher, Iowa; Arthur Carmody, University of Louisville; Garrett Rivas, University of Michigan; Jordon Congdon, University of Nebraska; Paul Martinez, University of Oregon; Chris Manfredini, TCU; James Wilhoit, University of Tennessee; Alex Trlica, Texas Tech; Brandon Pace, Virginia Tech.

A brief biography of each player on the Lou Groza Award Watch List can be found at beginning Aug. 16.

Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2005 season and 2006 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 Tuesday November 7, 2006, followed with the naming of the three finalists two weeks later on Tuesday, Nov. 21.

The award, now in its 15th 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.

2006 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Preseason Watch List
Name               Yr.     School
Jad Dean           Sr.     Clemson
Mason Crosby       Sr.     Colorado
Robert Lee         Sr.     East Carolina
Andrew Wellock     Sr.     Eastern Michigan
Chris Hetland      Sr.     Florida
Clint Stitser      Jr.     Fresno State
Brandon Coutu      Jr.     Georgia
Jason Reda         Jr.     Illinois
Kyle Schlicher     Sr.     Iowa
Danny Horwedel     Jr.     La. Tech
Arthur Carmody     Jr.     Louisville
Garrett Rivas      Sr.     Michigan
Jordon Congdon     So.     Nebraska
Kenny Byrd         Sr.     New Mexico
John Deraney       Sr.     North Carolina State
Bruce Redden       Sr.     Oklahoma State
Paul Martinez      Sr.     Oregon 
Alexis Serna       Jr.     Oregon State
Jeremy Ito         Jr.     Rutgers
Darren McCaleb     Sr.     Southern Miss
Chris Manfredini   Jr.     TCU
James Wilhoit      Sr.     Tennessee
Alex Trlica        Jr.     Texas Tech
Greg Whibbs        Jr.     Troy 
Justin Medlock     Sr.     UCLA
Sergio Aguayo      Jr.     UNLV
Reagan Schneider   Sr.     UTEP
Brandon Pace       Sr.     Virginia Tech
Sam Swank          So.     Wake Forest
Taylor Mehlhaff    Jr.     Wisconsin