WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - University of Connecticut senior Bobby Puyol (North Palm Beach, Fla.) has been named to the Pre-Season Watch List for the 2016 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award. Puyol was a semifinalist for the award last year as well, which is given by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
Puyol is just one of 30 kickers on the list and one of three from the American Athletic Conference. 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 the 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.
A total of 20 semifinalists will be announced on November 3 and the three finalists on November 22. The winner will be announced on December 8 during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.
Puyol has served as UConn’s primary kicker for the past two seasons and hit on 16-of-18 field goal attempts and 21-of-24 PATs. He was fifth in the country in field goal percentage and led The American and his 16 field goals were the sixth-highest in school single-season history. Puyol finished the season by making seven of his last eight field goal attempts of the season – including a career-high 52-yard field goal vs. Marshall in St. Petersburg Bowl on Dec. 26. That field goal was tied as the sixth-highest in school history and set a St. Petersburg Bowl record.
In 2014, Puyol connected on 9-of-14 field goals attempts and 19-of-22 PAT attempts
Puyol was a finalist for the Palm Beach (Fla.) Placekicker of the Year by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission coming out of Dwyer High School.
Puyol becomes the third Husky named to a Watch List during this preseason, joining junior cornerback Jamar Summers (Orange, N.J.) on the Chuck Bednarik Award list (top defensive player in the country) and redshirt sophomore Ryan Crozier (Plantation, Fla.) on the Rimington Trophy list (top center in the country).