Wunderlich Named Lou Groza Award Semifinalist
Gary Wunderlich (photo by Joshua McCoy)
Nov. 3, 2016

2016 Lou Groza Award Semifinalists

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Ole Miss junior Gary Wunderlich is among 20 semifinalists for the 2016 Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission announced Thursday.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Wunderlich is a Groza semifinalist for the first time in his career. Through eight games, he has converted 13 of 14 field goals for the nation's fifth-best percentage (92.9). His only miss came from 55 yards in the Rebels' 45-14 win over Georgia.

Wunderlich averages a team-best 8.8 points per outing, and his 1.62 field goals are second-most among SEC kickers and rank 17th nationally.

In his three-year college career, Wunderlich already ranks fifth in school history in points scored (228), tied for fifth in field goals made (38) and tied for third in PATs made (114). He owns the single-season Ole Miss record for PATs made (63 last year) and ranks second in points scored in a season (120 last year).

He is one of two Southeastern Conference kickers on the semifinalist list, along with Auburn's Daniel Carlson. Other 2016 Rebel opponents with kickers on the list include Memphis (Jake Elliott) and Georgia Southern (Younghoe Koo).

Ole Miss has one former winner of the award, Jonathan Nichols in 2003.

Semifinalists will be narrowed down to three finalists by a panel of more than 100 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists and current NFL kickers. These finalists will be announced on November 22 and honored at the 25th annual Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Awards Banquet on December 5 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The winner will be announced live on ESPN at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Thursday, December 8.

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 setting numerous franchise records, including most games played, most points scored and an amazing 107 consecutive games in which he scored a point. He was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974. 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 Placekicker 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.

The Lou Groza Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast 722 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more.

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

 

 

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