Crosby and Torp Named Finalists for Top National Awards
BOULDER - University of Colorado junior place-kicker Mason Crosby and senior punter John Torp were each named one of three finalists for the Lou Groza and Ray Guy Awards, respectively Tuesday. The honors represent the nation's top player at each position.
Crosby, Jad Dean of Clemson and Alexis Serna of Oregon State will vie for the prestigious Lou Groza Award which is presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl to the nation's top collegiate kicker.
Crosby is tied for the longest field goal in the NCAA this season, with a 58-yarder at Miami. He has connected on 19-of-24 kicks overall and has converted on all 31 of his PATs. Perhaps the most impressive statistic is Crosby's 42.5-yard average on his 19 made field goals, 10.8 yards ahead of both Dean and Serna. His 13 kicks from 40 yards or longer are two more than the other two finalists combined.
CU's "Golden Boot" is also a field position machine. He is likely the NCAA leader in touchbacks (41) and touchback percentage (71.9), although those numbers are not readily available nationally.
ESPN.com recently named Crosby to its inaugural All-Film team, in which Todd McShay of Scouts, Inc. studied film week in and week out to see how student-athletes play against the best talent in the nation and how they play in games they are supposed to excel in.
"His combination of leg strength and accuracy is unmatched in college football today," McShay wrote. "Critics who point to altitude as the reason for Crosby's success need to go back and watch film of him smashing a 58-yard field goal at Miami this season."
Torp is CU's other field position machine, as he has followed up his junior campaign with an impressive performance so far this season. He has already rewritten many of the punting records at CU--a tough accomplishment considering CU has had six first-team All-Americans at the position.
He currently ranks fourth among active collegiate punters with a 44.8-yard career average. This season he ranks seventh in the nation and second in the Big 12 in punting average, despite dealing with swirling winds in road games against Kansas State and Iowa State. He has placed 21 kicks inside-the-20, just one shy of the team record which he set last season.
"Few punters have made such progress over the course of the last two seasons," according to McShay. "He has the quick release, hands, athletic ability and intelligence to earn a shot at contending for a roster spot in an NFL training camp next summer."
Ryan Plackemeier of Wake Forest and Danny Baugher of Arizona are the other finalists for the Ray Guy Award.
If both of CU's specialists win their respective awards it would mark the first time in NCAA history that a school has swept the nation's top kicking honors. The winner of the Lou Groza Award will be announced on Dec. 6 in Orlando, Fla., while the Ray Guy Award winner will be announced in early January at the Greater Augusta Sports Awards in Augusta, Ga.
Eleven Buffs Named to Big 12 All-Academic Team
The Big 12 Conference announced its list of student-athletes which make up the 2005 All-Academic Team. To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or in the last two semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of his team's scheduled contests. Below are CU's representatives with their majors:
Ben Carpenter, LB, Jr. (Business Management)
Brian Daniels, OL, Jr. (Finance)
Byron Ellis, RB, So. (Integrative Physiology)
Tom Hubbard, S, Sr. (Accounting)
Tyler Polumbus, OL, So. (Business Management)
Dusty Sprague, WR, So. (Business Management)
Chad Cusworth, LB, Jr. (Economics)
Kyle Griffith, LB, Sr. (Accounting)
Evan Judge, WR, Sr. (Business Management)
Joel Klatt, QB, Sr. (Economics)
John Torp, P, Sr. (Political Science/Economics)