Siegel Makes Groza Award Nomination List for a Second Straight Year

Aug. 6, 2003

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It comes as no surprise that a finalist for last year's Lou Groza Award would again top the list of players to watch for this year's honor as the nation's top collegiate place-kicker. But wrestling away the award from last season's winner may be no easier as each of the three 2002 finalists return among the 30 preliminary candidates for the 12th-annual award.

University of Oregon junior Jared Siegel stands as one of four players from the Pacific-10 Conference to be added to the watch list for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicking Award , presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl. The award will be given during a Dec. 9 ceremony at the West Palm Beach Marriott in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Siegel, who earned first-team all-conference accolades a year ago after connecting on 20 of 24 field goals and 49-50 PATs, is joined on the list by last year's winner Nate Kaeding of Iowa as well as fellow finalist Mike Nugent of Ohio State.

Florida State's Sebastian Janikowski is the award's only two-time recipient, doing so following the 1998 and 1999 seasons.

Siegel completed 2002 third in the league in scoring (8.4 avg.) and 13th in the country in field goals made per game (1.54 avg.). With two years of eligibility remaining, the Sacramento, Calif., standout already has set a school record for career PATs (100) as well as most consecutive field goals made (15). In addition, he owns a share of the Ducks' record for consecutive kicks converted (54), and is second on the school ledger in all-time field goal proficiency (.750) as well as seventh in field goals made (27).

He joins the list that includes Drew Dunning of Washington State, Ryan Killeen of USC, and Oregon State's Kirk Yliniemi, as well as Georgia senior Billy Bennett, who is the nation's top returning scorer among place-kickers (9.29 avg.) and was 13th overall in the country in scoring.

The 20 semifinalists for the award will be announced Monday, Nov. 3, followed with the naming of the three finalists two weeks later.

A panal of over 300 experts vote on the award, including Division I head coaches, sports writers and sportscasters, conference representatives and professional kickers.

Siegel joins two other teammates who have been named to watch lists for awards representing their respective positions. Senior free safety Keith Lewis has been named to the Thorpe Award watch list as the nation's top defensive back while center Dan Weaver is a candidate for the Rimington Trophy as the nation's top collegiate center.

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