DENTON (8/12/05) - Mean Green all-conference kicker Nick Bazaldua was named to the 2005 Lou Groza Award Watch List, given annually to the nation's top place-kicker.
Bazaldua led all Sun Belt kickers in scoring, field goals per game and field goal percentage last season. The senior finished the regular season making 10 straight field goal attempts, which included four from 40 yards or more, marking the first time a North Texas kicker hit that many field goals from that distance since 1998.
Bazaldua showed his power late in the season when he nailed a 51-yard field goal against New Mexico State, earning conference player of the week honors.
The award, now in its 14th 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 make kicking an art form and he helped usher in the idea that a player could be used exclusively for kicking.
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 Monday, October 31, 2005, followed with the naming of the three finalists two weeks later on Monday, November 14, 2005.
The top three finalists are recognized during the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Banquet on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005, at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott and the winner is announced on Thursday, December 8, 2005 during the ESPN Home Depot College Football Award Show in Orlando, Florida.