Maryland kicker Brad Craddock has been named one of 20 semifinalists for this year's Lou Groza Award, which annually recognized the best kicker in college football, the award's commission announced Thursday morning.
Craddock is in the midst of a superb season. He is a perfect 14-of-14 on field goal attempts this year, having knocked through the most kicks without a miss of any kicker in the nation. His 57-yard make against Ohio State still holds up as the second-longest of the season in FBS. An impressive nine of his 14 field goals – almost 65 percent – have come from beyond 40 yards, giving Maryland a reliable long-range scoring threat. He's also perfect on 33 extra point tries.
Four other kickers nationally have yet to miss a kick, but none has more than 11 attempts, compared to Craddock's 14. If Craddock were in the NFL, he would be one of just three kickers to have made a field goal of longer than 56 yards this year.
Given his lack of even a single miss, Craddock figures to be the favorite for the award as Maryland heads into its last three games of the season. Florida State's Roberto Aguayo, thought by many to be the best kicker in the country, pushed a 41-yard attempt wide right against Louisville last week, leaving Craddock in a strong position if he can get through Maryland's final quarter of the season unscathed.
Finalists will be announced on Nov. 24. Also vying for the award are Aguayo, Duke's Ross Martin (also serious contender in his own right), Houston's Randy Bullard and others. Every FBS kicker who has made at least 85 percent of his tries on double-digit field goal attempts is on the list, with Craddock at the top of that leaderboard.