UCLA junior placekicker JJ Molson has been named to the 2018 Lou Groza Award watch list. Molson is one of thirty kickers who were named to the watch list this morning.
Molson earned his way onto this watch list by being one of just fourteen kickers last year to make more than 10 field goals from a distance of more than 30 yards with at least a 75% accuracy. Last year, Molson made 11 field goals longer than 30 yards and he made 81.0% of his kicks from beyond the 30.
Molson will be trying to join UCLA’s two previous Groza Award winners, Kai Forbath and Ka’imi Fairbairn. Of course, UCLA’s history of excellent placekicking goes well beyond Forbath and Fairbairn, but the Groza Award has only been awarded since 1992.
The Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award will announce its 20 semifinalists on Thursday, November 1st. From this list, a panel of more than 300 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists, and current NFL kickers selects the top three finalists for the award by Tuesday, November 20th. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, December 6th during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.
The 27th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl, recognizes the three finalists during a celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet at West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center for the Performing Arts on December 3rd.
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.
The Lou Groza Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. All of the NCFAA awards will be announced during the College Football Awards Show on ESPN on December 6, 2018.