(UW Athletics release)
West Palm Beach, Fla. – The Palm Beach County Sports Commission has released the 20 semifinalists for the 2018 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award presented by the Orange Bowl. Wyoming junior Cooper Rothe was one of the 20 semifinalists selected.
Rothe leads the nation in field-goal percentage, making all 14 field goals he has attempted this season. He also owns the nation’s longest streak of consecutive field goals made at 17, dating back to the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl where he successfully converted all three field goals he attempted. His last miss was a 49-yarder in his final attempt at San Jose State in the last regular-season game of the 2017 season. Over the past two seasons, Rothe has made 29 of 32 field goals (90.6 percent).
This is the first time Rothe has been named a Groza Award semifinalist. The junior from Longmont, Colo., has started every game from the first game of his freshman season to now — 35 consecutive starts.
Semifinalists will be voted on by a panel of more than 100 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists and current NFL kickers to select the three finalists. These finalists will be announced on November 20th and honored at the 27th annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Awards Banquet on December 3rd in Palm Beach County. The same panel then selects the winner, who will be announced live on ESPN at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Thursday, December 6th.
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.