Wunderlich Makes Groza Watch List

July 12, 2017

2017 Lou Groza Award Watch List

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- After leading the NCAA with a sparkling 95.7 field goal percentage last season, Ole Miss senior kicker/punter Gary Wunderlich has been named to the 30-man preseason watch list for the 2017 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, as announced Wednesday by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.

Wunderlich, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, is one of 12 returning semifinalists placed on the watch list. Last year, he set an SEC and Ole Miss record by connecting on 22 of 23 field goals for a 95.7 percent success rate. His only miss came from 55 yards out. He ranked fifth nationally with 1.83 field goals per game and 26th overall with 8.9 points scored per outing. His 39-yarder with 37 seconds left won the game for the Rebels on the road at No. 8 Texas A&M.

For his career, Wunderlich ranks third in school history with 265 points scored, 47 field goals made and 124 PATs made. He has been named to various preseason All-America and All-SEC teams already this summer. 

Wunderlich is hoping to become the second Rebel to win the Groza Award. All-American Jonathan Nichols received the trophy in 2003.

While the watch list highlights 30 of the best returning kickers in the country, the Groza Committee will be watching all FBS kickers during the season, and releasing a weekly "Stars of the Week" feature on www.lougrozaaward.com. All FBS kickers remain eligible to be selected as semifinalists.

Accomplishments are tabulated throughout the season and the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award will announce its 20 semifinalists on Thursday, November 2. 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, November 21. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, December 7 during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.

The 26th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl Committee, recognizes the three finalists during a celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet on December 4.

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. Although an All-Pro offensive lineman as well, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.

For more information on the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award and to see the "Stars of the Week" throughout the season, please go to www.lougrozaaward.com. For even more updates on the best kicking performances throughout the season, follow @LouGrozaAward on Twitter.

Follow Ole Miss Football on Twitter (@OleMissFB), Facebook and Instagram. For more information, visit www.OleMissSports.com.






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