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Aug. 29, 2007

University of South Carolina junior Ryan Succop has been named to the pre-season Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Watch List, it was announced today.

The Watch List is comprised of the top 30 preliminary candidates for the 16th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl. The top three finalists will be honored during the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Banquet on Tuesday, December 4, 2007. The award will be presented Thursday, December 6, 2007 during the ESPN Home Depot College Football Award Show broadcast live from Orlando, Fla.

Succop, a 6-2, 214-pounder from Hickory, N.C., was a semi-finalist for the Groza Award in 2006. He connected on 16-of-20 field goal attempts, including a long of 55 yards against Vanderbilt. He was 10-for-11 from inside 47 yards, averaging 42.8 yards per field goal attempt and 40.1 yards per field goal made. He is a pre-season first team All-SEC selection by the media and a second team pick by the league’s coaches.

Five former winners or nominees, Mason Crosby, Martin Gramatica, Sebastian Janikowski, Nate Kaeding and Mike Nugent became successful NFL kickers.

Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2006 season and 2007 preseason expectations. However, all Division I-A kickers are eligible for consideration for the award.

A panel of over 300 experts, including Division I-A head coaches, sports writers and sportscasters, conference representatives, professional kickers and all previous Groza Award finalists, votes on the award.

The 20 semi-finalists for the Lou Groza Award are announced on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 followed by the naming of the three finalists two weeks later on Tuesday, November 20, 2007.

The award, is named for National Football League (NFL) 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, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.

The Lou Groza Award is presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl and is also sponsored by The Breakers, Continental Airlines, Discretion Entertainment LLC, Enterprise rent-a-car, ESPN Radio 760, ESPN Regional Television, Florida Coca-Cola Bottling, Hartless Foundation, JBS Destination Solutions, Palm Beach Kennel Club, The Palm Beach Post, Parallax Productions, Romano Law Group, Rooney’s Public House, World Class Transportation Inc.

For more information regarding the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, please go to or contact Dusty Ann Williams, Event Manager at the Palm Beach County Sports Institute at (561) 233-3122.