Troy’s Ryan Kay named Groza Award semifinalist

TROY, Ala. (  – Troy senior kicker Ryan Kay has been named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award presented by the Orange Bowl, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission announced Thursday. The Groza Award is presented annually to the nation’s top place kicker.

Kay, who is one of just 20 semifinalists for the award, has twice been named the Sun Belt Conference Special Teams Player of the Week this season and has connected on 13-of-16 field goal attempts and all 26 of his extra-point attempts.

The native of Jonesboro, Ga., ranks 10th nationally among kickers with at least 15 attempts with his 81.3 success rate this season, while his 1.9 field goals made per game are tied for the seventh most in the country. Kay put together a streak of nine straight made field goals earlier this season and is a perfect 56-of-56 in his career on extra-point attempts.

A panel of head coaches, sports information directors, media members, past Groza Award winners and current NFL kickers will vote on the pool of semifinalist to determine three finalists. The three finalists will be announced on Nov. 22 and will then be honored at the 25th annual Lou Groza Award Banquet on Dec. 5 in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The winner will be announced live on ESPN at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Thursday, Dec. 8.

Since the first Lou Groza Award was handed out in 1992, 21 finalists, including 12 winners, have gone on to appear in the NFL, earning nine trips to the Pro Bowl and taking home five Super Bowls. That list includes current NFL kickers Roberto Aguayo, Dan Bailey, Randy Bullock, Mason Crosby, Graham Gano, Dustin Hopkins, Sebastian Janikowski, Mike Nugent, Cairo Santos, Caleb Sturgis and Blair Walsh.

The Lou Groza Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast 722 years of tradition-selection excellence.

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