Starr a finalist for Groza Award

It’s given to the best kicker in the nation each year.

Hmm. Wonder if Starr will be named to the All-Big Ten team when it is announced later tonight?

I’m as confident as he is before a kick that he will in fact make the team.

Press release is after the jump.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Palm Beach County Sports Institute and Palm
Beach County Sports Commission are pleased to announce Austin Starr of
Indiana University, Thomas Weber of Arizona State University and Jose
Martinez of University of Texas ­ El Paso as the finalists for the 2007 Lou
Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl.
These three place-kickers have compiled exceptional seasons in earning this
honor.

Starr gave the Hoosiers their first victory in the Old Oaken Bucket Game
since 2001 when he connected on the game-winning field goal from 49 yards
out with 30 seconds remaining. The kick gave Indiana a 27-24 victory and
sent the crowd of 50,741 fans – the first sellout at Memorial Stadium for
the Bucket Game since 1989 – into a frenzy. Starr also added a 42-yarder in
the second quarter and hit all three of his extra-point attempts.

The Logansport, Ind., native matched his career long, picked up the third
game-winning kick of his career and his first of the season. He finished the
game hitting two field goals to set a new school record with his 19th field
goal of the season, topping former NFL great Pete Stoyanovich’s 17 in 1988.
He also extended his school record by making his 15th attempt in a row in
the first half before missing a 42-yarder in the fourth quarter.

Starr tied Stoyanovich’s record for single-season extra points with his 45th
of the year. He finished the season a perfect 45-for-45, as Stoyanovich did
back in 1988. Starr also moved up the single-season points list, finishing
the regular season with 102, good for fourth place. He has hit 19-of-21
field goals this regular season (a school record 90.5 percent) and has
nailed 10-of-11 from 40-plus yards (90.9).

Weber, has connected on 95 percent of his field goals so far this season.
He has made 19 of 20 tries, second in the nation among kickers with 10
attempts.  His season long came against UCLA when he connected on a
53-yarder in the Sun Devils¹ 24-20 victory.  He has been a major contributor
to the Sun Devils 5-1 record in the PAC 10 with two games in which he was a
perfect 3-for-3, and he was 4 for 4 in ASU¹s defeat of Stanford.

Jose Martinez of UTEP is tied with two others for the longest field goal of
the season.  He booted a 57-yarder against the University of Houston.   The
strong-legged junior also has field goals of 51, 45 and 42 yards this
season.  He has connected on 15 of his 18 field goal tries, 83.3 percent.
Martinez has been perfect on all 42 of his PAT tries.  Martinez has battled
back from injury, missing spring football drills as he recovered from a
severe ACL injury.

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 will be honored at the 16th
Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Banquet on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at
the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott.  The 2007 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker
Award winner will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 6 during the ESPN Home
Depot College Football Award Show in Orlando, Florida.

The award, now in its 16th 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 ³The Toe,² 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.

For more information on the finalists please visit, including photographs
and biographies, please visit
http://www.lougrozaaward.com/Candidates/index.htm.

The Lou Groza Award is presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl and is also
sponsored by The Breakers, Bus One, LLC, Continental Airlines, Discretion
Entertainment LLC, Enterprise rent-a-car, ESPN Radio 760, ESPN Regional
Television, Hartless Foundation, JBS Destination Solutions, McGladrey &
Pullen LLP, Palm Beach Kennel Club, The Palm Beach Post, Parallax
Productions, Romano Law Group, Rooney¹s Public House, The Tux Shop, and WPEC
News 12.

For more information regarding the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award,
including banquet, hotel, and ticket information please contact Graham
Morris at the Palm Beach County Sports Institute at (561) 233-3124.

3 comments

  1. Congratulations to Starr, the Hoosier Hero! Hopefully he wins the Groza Award.

    Hardy got snubbed as a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award!

  2. What a crock. He’s a finalist for the Groza yet Melhoff gets first team over him?

    And Manningham is a finalist for the Biletnikoff but not Hardy?

    Porter is on Kiper’s top 25, and yet can’t make first team?

    Then there’s Henne over Lewis, which is awful in so many ways it’s not funny. Why is Henne on there but not Boeckman?

    IU got screwed over, those 4 kids deserve better.

  3. Unless we find the next Isiah Thomas, I still think Hulls will be the main point guard to run the team the next two years. Game, guts, glory, and gumption written all over his grumpy face. You can’t keep a winner off the floor.

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