Baylor junior kicker Connor Martin was named to the Lou Groza Collegiate Place Kicker Award Watch List, it was announced today by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
The Lou Groza Award is given annually to the best collegiate place kicker and is presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
In 2017, Martin’s first season as Baylor’s starting kicker, he went straight to the top of the record books, becoming the first Bears’ kicker to make 20 field goals in a single season. Those 20 field goals currently rank 10th in the program’s career field goals made list. The Dallas native also currently holds the program record for career field goal percentage with .833 (20-for-24). His four field goals against Oklahoma tied the school mark for most in a single game.
A 2017 Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection, Martin was also all over the national and Big 12 rankings last season, finishing 10th in FBS and third in Big 12 in field goals made per game (1.67), 21st and second in field goal percentage (.833) and 69th and seventh in points per game (7.4).
Among all kickers returning to FBS this season, only two made at least 20 field goals at a better rate than Martin’s 83.3 percent. He also made 27-of-28 PATs.
Martin joins three other Bears on preseason watch lists, WR Denzel Mims (Biletnikoff Award), C Sam Tecklenburg (Rimington Award) and DT Ira Lewis (Nagurski Trophy, Outland Trophy).
The Groza 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.
Accomplishments are tabulated throughout the season and the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award will announce its 20 semifinalists on Thursday, November 1st. From this list, a panel of more than 300 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists, and current NFL kickers selects the top three finalists for the award by Tuesday, November 20th. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, December 6th during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.