Lou Groza Award semifinalists announced
Pace makes the cut for third straight year
November 2, 2006

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - The Palm Beach County Sports Institute and Sports Commission announced the 20 semifinalists for the 2006 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl. These 20 place-kickers have all excelled throughout the season in earning their place as a semifinalist.

Virginia Tech senior Brandon Pace is one of the 20 to make the cut. This marks the third straight year Pace has made the cut. He is currently 10-for-10 on the season on field goals and is the only kicker in the country with seven or more field goal attempts not to have a miss.

Also among this year's 20 semifinalists are 2005 Groza Award winner Alexis Serna of Oregon State, and 2005 runner-up Mason Crosby of Colorado. Also making the 2006 semifinalists list are 2005 semifinalists Kenny Byrd from New Mexico, Garrett Rivas of Michigan, Sam Swank of Wake Forest, Pace and Reagan Schneider of Texas El Paso.

The 2006 Lou Groza Semifinalists are...

Kenny Byrd, New Mexico
Arthur Carmody, Louisville
Gary Cismesia, Florida State
Mason Crosby, Colorado
Garrett Hartley, Oklahoma
Jeremy Ito, Rutgers
Brian Jackson, Ball State
Justin Medlock, UCLA
Taylor Mehlhaff, Wisconsin
Brandon Pace, Virginia Tech
Garrett Rivas, Michigan
Reagan Schneider, UTEP
Alexis Serna, Oregon State
Patrick Shadle, Syracuse
Ryan Succop, South Carolina
Sam Swank, Wake Forest
John Vaughn, Auburn
Andrew Wellock, Eastern Michigan
James Wilhoit, Tennessee
Jeff Wolfert, Missouri

The Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award recognizes the top place-kicker in NCAA Division I-A football. 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 are announced on Monday, Nov. 20 and will be honored at the 15th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Banquet on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott. The 2006 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award winner will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 7 during the ESPN Home Depot College Football Award Show in Orlando, Florida.

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.