(UW Athletics release)
ATLANTA – University of Wyoming junior place-kicker Cooper Rothe was honored as one of three national finalists for the 2018 Lou Groza Award at The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN Thursday night. The awards were held at The College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Ga., and were televised live on ESPN.
Rothe is the first Wyoming Cowboy to be named a finalist for the Lou Groza Award, which was first presented in 1992. The award is named for Pro Football Hall of Famer 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.
Andre Szmyt of Syracuse was named the winner of the 2018 Lou Groza Award on Thursday at The Home Depot College Football Awards. The third finalist for the Lou Groza Award was Cole Tracy of LSU. A panel of FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists and current NFL kickers selected the three finalists.
Rothe led the nation in field-goal percentage, making 94.1 percent (16 of 17) of his field goal attempts this season. He owned the nation’s longest streak of consecutive field goals made at 18, dating back to the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl where he successfully converted all three field goals he attempted. Rothe missed a 43-yard attempt vs. San Jose State on Nov. 3 for his only miss this season. Over the past two seasons, Rothe has made 31 of 35 field goal attempts (88.6 percent). He is also a perfect 28 of 28 in point-after-touchdown attempts this season to tie for No. 1 in the nation in that category. The junior from Longmont, Colo., has started every game from the first game of his freshman season to now — 39 consecutive starts.
The Wyoming Cowboys have had one former player win a national position award. That was wide receiver Marcus Harris in 1996. Harris was selected as the winner of the 1996 Biletnikoff Award, which annually recognizes the outstanding FBS receiver in college football.