ATHENS -- Georgia sophomore place kicker Blair Walsh has been named one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza National Collegiate Place Kicker Award, according to an announcement from the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
Groza Award semifinalists will be voted on by all Division I head coaches and sports information directors, along with national, regional and local football writers and others who will select the three finalists. These finalists will be honored at the Lou Groza Collegiate Place Kicker Awards Banquet on December 8 in West Palm Beach, Fla. The winner will be announced live on the nationally televised Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on the evening of December 10.
The award is named in honor of one of the all-time great kickers in football history, Lou Groza. Groza played 21 seasons for the Cleveland Browns setting numerous franchise records, including most games played, most points scored, and an amazing 107 consecutive games in which he scored a point. The 1,608 career points he scored is still a Browns' franchise record, and he ranks third all-time in league. Groza was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974.
Walsh, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound native of Boca Raton, Fla., has drilled 13 of 14 field goals attempted this season, including three from 50 yards or longer. He is on pace to be near the top of the list for the best field goal percentage in a year since Billy Bennett currently holds the No. 1 spot after going 13-for-14 (92.86 percent) in 2000. Walsh has also connected on all 77 point-after attempts (27-for-27 in 2009) in his two-year career.
Walsh began the 2009 season by hitting a career-long 53 yarder versus No. 9 Oklahoma State before knocking down a 37-yard game winner as time expired in the Arizona State game. He has twice tallied 14 points in a game during his career, including his performance at Arkansas this year.
One of five kickers from the Southeastern Conference to be named a semifinalist, Walsh has already been named a Phil Steele Midseason All-American (second team).