LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky senior kicker Austin MacGinnis has been named to the 2017 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award preseason watch list, it was announced Wednesday.
MacGinnis is one of the nation’s top returning kickers and connected on a pair of game-winning field goals in 2016. His 47-yard field goal with 12 seconds left at No. 11 Louisville marked his second game-winning kick of the season after he also made a 51-yard field goal as time expired for a 40-38 win over Mississippi State.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder from Wedowee, Alabama, hit 16-of-19 field goal attempts in 2016 and he enters the 2017 season with a streak of seven straight made field goals, which is just four short of his own school record of 11 straight. He is just the second player in school history to hit at least 50 career field goals (57, Joey Worley, 1984-1987) and his 257 career points ranks No. 2 on UK’s all-time scoring list. He needs just 48 more to tie Lones Seiber (2006-09) as the top scorer.
Accomplishments are tabulated throughout the season and the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award will announce its 20 semifinalists on Nov. 2. 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. 21. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 7 during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.
The 26th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl Committee, recognizes the three finalists during a celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet on Dec. 4.
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.