MORGANTOWN, W.Va.– West Virginia University senior Josh Lambert was one of 30 kickers named to the 2016 Lou Groza Award watch list on Thursday.
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award and is headlined by 19 former semifinalists.
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. Despite being an All-Pro offensive lineman, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.
Lambert was a 2014 finalist for the Lou Groza Award after making 30-of-39 field goal attempts and was perfect on all 45 of his extra point tries that season. He is just the third kicker that has connected on at least 30 attempts in a single season.
In 2015, the Garland, Texas native connected on 21-of-28 field goal attempts, which included a long of 51 yards against TCU. He made at least one field goal in all but one game last season.
Lambert led the Mountaineers in scoring the past three years and needs 48 points to become WVU’s all-time career scoring leader.
Last season the 5-foot-11, 215-pounder tied for No. 1 in the Big 12 Conference and No. 17 nationally in field goals per game and tied for No. 1 in total field goals. He was No. 4 in the Big 12 in overall scoring, No. 3 by kickers and No. 27 nationally.
Big 12 kickers on the watch list include Austin Seibert (Oklahoma), Ben Grogan (Oklahoma State), Clayton Hatfield (Texas Tech) and Lambert. The conference has had three previous winners.
Accomplishments are tabulated throughout the season and the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award will announce its 20 semifinalists on Thursday, Nov. 3. 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. 22. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 8 during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.
Cover Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS