2019 Preseason Award Projections: Groza Award

By Charlie Campbell
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Heading into the 2019 college football season, WalterFootball.com will debut our projections for the nation’s leaders during the fall. The All-American teams always have some surprises, and the next fall’s stars could be the headline players next April for the 2020 NFL Draft. We also will project the winners of the postseason awards that are given out to the best of college football.

The Lou Groza Award is given to the best kicker in college football. Last year’s winner was Utah’s Matt Gay.

Lou Groza Award Winner:

Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia

In 2018, Blankenship was 19-of-23 on his field goals, connecting on a long of 53 yards. Blankenship was excellent in 2017, connecting on 87 percent of his field goals. He had a long of 55 yards and was 2-for-2 in the 50-plus-yard range. He was 4-of-7 in the 40-yard range. With Blankenship’s track record and playing at a high profile school like Georgia, he has a real shot at winning the Groza Award in 2019.

Lou Groza Award Runner-Up:

Jet Toner, Stanford

Toner was 14-of-15 in 2018, showing excellent accuracy, but his longest field goal was from 46 yards out, so his legs strength was not really put to the test. In 2017, Toner showed an accurate leg hitting 5-of-7 in the 40-yard range. That season, he was 21-of-26 with a long field goal of 46 yards. Toner has the accuracy to put together an impressive 2019 season, and that could land him honors like the Lou Groza Award.

Lou Groza Award Dark Horse:

Jace Christmann, Mississippi State

Over the past two seasons, Christmann has been an accurate kicker for the Bulldogs. Christmann was 12-of-16 with a long of 47 yards in 2018. In 2017, he was 12-of-14 with a long of 45 yards. He may not have as many field goal attempts as Mississippi State lost some significant players from their offense of last year, so that could make Christmann more of a dark horse.

Honorable Mentions: Baylor’s Connor Martin, Florida State’s Ricky Aguayo and Michigan’s Quinn Nordin.

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