Arizona State sophomore place kicker Zane Gonzalez was named to the preseason Lou Groza Award watch list on Wednesday. The award is given annually to the best place kicker in the country.
Place kickers in college notoriously have fans on the edge of their seats during games but that rarely happened with Gonzalez in 2013. The Deer Park, Texas native had a streak of 18 made field goals in a row last season and finished the year having converted 25 of 30 field goals and 63 of 65 extra points. He led the Pac-12 in field goals per game (1.7) and kick scoring (138 points) last season. His efforts landed him a spot on first team all-Pac-12.
Gonzalez is no stranger to the Groza Award. He was one of 20 semifinalists for the award last season. The Sun Devils have a rich history of excellent place kicking which includes former Groza Award winner Thomas Webber who hit 22 of 23 field goals to win the award in 2007. Luis Zendejas is another notable Sun Devil who has succeeded in the kicking game. He hit 28 of 37 field goals during the 1983 season and was named a consensus All-American that year.
Given out each year by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, the panel of voters for the Groza Award consists of journalists, head coaches, previous winners and conference representatives from around the country. The preseason list consists of 30 kickers which is narrowed down to 20 semi finalists in early November and finally three finalists from which one winner is chosen.