Mitch Meeuwsen and Alexis Serna Semi-Finalists for National Awards

Nov. 9, 2004

Corvallis, Ore. - Oregon State University senior free safety Mitch Meeuwsen and redshirt freshman placekicker Alexis Serna have been selected as semi-finalists for a pair of national awards. Meeuwsen is a candidate for the 19th annual Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's premier defensive back. Serna is candidate for the 13th annual Lou Groza Award, given annually to the nation's premier kicker.

Meeuwsen is OSU's career record holder and is tied for the NCAA active career lead for interceptions with 19. The Forest Grove native is second on the team for total tackles with 53 and has 198 for his career. Meeuwsen also has a team-high 37 starts for his career.

Three finalists for the Thorpe Award will be announced Nov. 22. The winner will be presented the award Dec. 9 on the ESPN College Football Awards Show from Orlando, Fla. The other semi-finalists include Jason Allen (Tennessee), James Butler (Georgia Tech), Thomas Davis (Georgia), Jim Loenhard (Wisconsin), Justin Miller (Clemson), Brandon Payne (New Mexico), Carlos Rogers (Auburn), Antrel Rolle (Miami), Ernest Shazor (Michigan), Corey Webster (LSU) and Jimmy Williams (Virginia Tech).

Serna has converted 10 of 11 field goal attempts in his first season. He was named the Pac-10 Conference's Special Teams Player of the Week and one of three Lou Groza Award Stars for his 5-for-5 performance in the Beavers' 29-14 win at Washington last month. He made a 55-yard field goal at UW, tied for the second longest in school history and the longest in the Pac-10 this season.

The three finalists for the Groza Award will be announced Nov. 22 and the recipient will be honored Dec. 7 at the West Palm Beach Marriott in West Palm Beach, Fla. The other finalists include Jeff Babcock (Colorado State), Travis Bell (Georgia Tech), Brian Bostick (Alabama), Mason Crosby (Colorado), Stephen Gostkowski (Memphis), Tyler Jones (Boise State), Dareen McCaleb (Southern Mississippi), Justin Medlock (UCLA), Mike Nugent (Ohio State), Matt Nuzie (Connecticut), Brandon Pace (Virginia Tech), Matt Payne (BYU), Todd Pegram (Texas A&M), Dave Rayner (Michigan State), Joe Rheem (Kansas State), Reagan Schneider (UTEP), Colby Smith (Middle Tennessee), Shaun Suisham (Bowling Green) and Andrew Wellock (Eastern Michigan).