Oct. 31, 2008
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.--Wildcat senior place kicker Jason Bondzio has been named by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission as one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award as the nation's finest.
Bondzio, who set Arizona kicking records last year with a field goal percentage of .808 for 21 made in 26 attempts, plus the first kicker to score 100 points, is nine of 11 this year and well on his way to establishing an Arizona career percentage record. Max Zendejas, who kicked at UA from 1982-85, owns the mark with a figure of .738.
Bondzio currently carries an .811 rate and is a perfect 34-for-34 on PAT kicks. He leads Arizona in scoring with 61 points.
Voting for three finalists for the Groza Award, presented by the Fedex Orange Bowl, will be conducted by a panel consisting of all Division 1 coaches and SID's, along with national, regional and local football writers. These finalists will be invited to the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Awards Banquet December 7-9 in West Palm Beach. The winner will be announced live on the nationally televised Home Deport ESPNU College Football Awards Program on the evening of Dec. 11.
The award is named in honor of one of the all-time great kickers in Football history, Lou Groza. Groza played 21 seasons for the Cleveland Browns setting numerous franchise records, including most games played, most points scored, and an amazing 107 consecutive games in which he scored a point. The 1,608 career points he scored is still a Browns' franchise record, and he ranks third all-time in league. Groza was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974.
Arizona kicker Steve McLaughlin won the inaugural Groza Award in 1994, the season he won consensus first-team All-America honors. Other past Groza winners include Thomas Weber of Arizona State in 2007 and current NFL kickers Nate Mike Nugent of Ohio State (2004), Nate Kaeding of Iowa (2002) and Sebastian Janikowski of Florida State (1999 and 1998) and Martin Gramatica of Kansas State (1997).
The 2008 contenders for the award:
Jason Bondzio, Arizona; Josh Arauco, Arkansas State; Matt Bosher, Miami; Ross Evans, TCU; Graham Gano, Florida State; Sam Glusman, Troy; Ryan Harrison, Air Force; Matt Harmon, Navy; Kevin Kelly, Penn State; Dustin Keys, Virginia Tech; Jose Martinez, UTEP; Pat McAfee, West Virginia; Jonathan Phillips, Florida; Jake Rogers, Cincinnati; Louis Sadoka, Utah; Patrick Shadle, Syracuse; Joshua Shene, Mississippi; Leigh Tiffin, Alabama; Phillip Welch, Wisconsin; and Jeff Wolfert, Missouri.