FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — University of Arkansas junior kicker Zach Hocker has been named to the Lou Groza Award Watch List for the second straight season, it was announced Wednesday.
Hocker broke the Arkansas single-season record for points by a kicker last season with 118 points. The Russellville, Ark., native led all SEC kickers, was second overall in the conference and 17th in the NCAA with his average of 9.1 points per game. He also tied for second in the SEC and for 11th in the NCAA with 1.6 made field goals per game. He added kickoff duties for the first time as a collegian in 2011 and his 40 touchbacks were the most in the SEC and ranked second in the NCAA, and his touchback percentage of 43.01 was second in the conference and third in the country. He scored a career-high 14 points, which tied for sixth on Arkansas' single-game kick scoring list, vs. No. 10 South Carolina and vs. Mississippi State and tied an AT&T Cotton Bowl record with three made field goals in the victory vs. No. 11 Kansas State. Entering the 2012 season, he holds the Arkansas record for career field goal percentage (min. 20 made) at 80.4. He also ranks in the top 10 on the school's career lists for PAT kicks made, points, field goals made, PAT attempts and career field goal attempts.
Accomplishments are tabulated throughout the season and the Lou Groza Award announces its 20 semifinalists on Monday, Nov. 5. From this list, a panel of more than 300 experts selects the top three finalists for the award by Monday, Nov. 19. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 6 during The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Award Show, broadcast live from Orlando, Fla.
The 21st annual Lou Groza 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 Dec. 4, prior to joining ESPN in Orlando. 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.