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Maryland's Brad Craddock named to Lou Groza Award Watch List

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The following is a release from Maryland.

Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Looking to become just the second repeat winner in Groza history, Maryland senior Brad Craddock headlines the thirty-player Watch List for the 2015 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, as announced Thursday by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.

Craddock won the 2014 Groza on an incredible year in which he stayed perfect until his final attempt of the regular season, finishing with the Maryland school records for accuracy (94.7%), longest field goal (57 yards) and most consecutive made field goals (24). But if he is to join former Florida State kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who won the award in 1998 and 1999, as the only two-time Groza winners, he'll have to hold off an impressive batch of returning kickers, including both of his fellow finalists last season.

Joining Craddock on the Watch List are Florida State junior Roberto Aguayo and West Virginia junior Josh Lambert, both finalists for the Groza in 2014. Aguayo, who won the award as a freshman in 2013, leads the nation in field goals over the past two seasons, while Lambert last year became just the third kicker in FBS history to make 30 field goals in a single campaign.

The three former finalists are joined on the Watch List by a dozen other kickers who were named semifinalists last season, as well as by 15 new faces. Only five returning FBS kickers attempted at least 10 kicks and made at least 90% of them, and all are on the Watch List: Craddock (94.7), Kansas State sophomore Matthew McCrane (94.7), Oregon sophomore Aidan Schneider (91.7), two-time semifinalist Duke senior Ross Martin (90.5) and Aguayo (90.0).

The Watch List also includes all ten returning kickers who made more than 20 field goals at a rate of 75% or higher: Lambert (30), Aguayo (27), two-time semifinalist Utah junior Andy Phillips (23), Bowling Green senior Tyler Tate (23), returning semifinalist Virginia senior Ian Frye (22), two-time semifinalist Arizona State junior Zane Gonzalez (22), Oklahoma State junior Ben Grogan (22), two-time semifinalist TCU senior Jaden Oberkrom (22), and returning semifinalist Clemson senior Ammon Lakip (21).

Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2014 season and 2015 expectations. All ten FBS conferences are represented among the 30 kickers, led by the ACC with six, the Pac-12 with five, and the Big 12 with four. The Big Ten, MAC and SEC each placed three kickers, followed by a pair each from the American and Conference USA. The Mountain West and the Sun Belt each placed one kicker.

While the Watch List highlights thirty of the best returning kickers in the country, all FBS kickers are eligible for this year's award. In fact, two of the past three winners were not on that year's Watch List. The Groza Committee will be watching all FBS kickers during the season, and releasing a weekly "Stars of the Week" feature on www.lougrozaaward.com.

Semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award will be announced November 5, 2015, while the three finalists will be unveiled November 23, 2015. The winner of the 2015 Lou Groza Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 10, 2015.

The 24th 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 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on December 7th, 2015, prior to joining ESPN in Atlanta.

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.

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 over 700 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story.

Beginning in 2015, The Home Depot College Football Awards will have a new home at the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience in downtown Atlanta. Airing live on ESPN on December 10, 2015, college football's brightest stars will be honored for their performance on and off the field.