(Texas Tech Press Release)
LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech senior Ryan Bustin is one of 30 kickers in the country that have been named to the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Watch List, announced today by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
The 23rd Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl Committee, recognizes the three finalists during an early week celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet on December 9, prior to joining ESPN in Orlando.
Bustin, who became the first Red Raider in school history to be named a semifinalist for the award a year ago, had a breakthrough season as a junior in 2013 breaking the school record for field goals made (23), field goals attempted (27), field goal percentage (.852) and points scored in a season by a kicker (121), to name a few.
Bustin is one of just four kickers from the Big 12 Conference on the watch list, joining Kansas State’s Jack Cantele, Oklahoma’s Michael Hunnicutt and TCU’s Jaden Oberkrom.
He ranks third among kickers on the watch list with 23 made field goals last season and finished last season 22-of-24 on field goal attempts inside of 40 yards.
Bustin has set a school record for field goals made in a two-year career (40) while he ended last season ranking third nationally among active players in career field goals made/game (1.54).
This season marks the first time a Tech kicker has landed on the Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List since 2006 when Alex Trlica was recognized.
Accomplishments are tabulated throughout the season and the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award will announce its 20 semifinalists on Thursday, November 6. From this list, a panel of more than 300 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, and former Groza finalists selects the top three finalists for the award by Monday, November 24. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, December 11 during the Home Depot College Football Awards, broadcast live from Orlando, Fla.
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.
For more information on the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award and to see the “Stars of the Week” throughout the season, please go to www.lougrozaaward.com. For even more updates on the best kicking performances throughout the season, follow @LouGrozaAward on Twitter.