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Szmyt latest Syracuse player named to a preseason award watch list

Posted 7/28/22

Syracuse University kicker Andre Szmyt has a chance to repeat as the Lou Groza Award winner.

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Szmyt latest Syracuse player named to a preseason award watch list

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Syracuse University kicker Andre Szmyt has a chance to repeat as the Lou Groza Award winner. The redshirt senior was named to its preseason watch list Wednesday.

Szmyt won the award in 2018 following his redshirt freshman season with Syracuse. He was the first Syracuse player to win the award, which is presented annually by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission to the nation’s top placekicker.

The Lou Groza Award is named for NFL Hall of Famer Lou “The Toe” Groza, who played 18 seasons and won four championships with the Cleveland Browns. Groza helped establish the role of kicker on NFL rosters. In college, he played for Ohio State.

In the season he earned the award, Szmyt made 30 of 34 field goal attempts and set a career-high with a 54-yard field goal against Pittsburgh.

One other kicker has won the award two times: former Florida State kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who played 18 NFL seasons. Janikowski won the award in 1998 and 1999.

Michigan’s Jake Moody, the 2021 Groza recipient, is the only other previous winner named to the preseason watch list. There are also three other former finalists on the list: Ohio State’s Noah Ruggles, BYU’s Jacob Oldroyd and Alabama’s Will Reichard.

Szmyt is the top kicker in Syracuse history. He has made 65-of-79 career field goal attempts. His career accuracy rate of 82.3% leads the nation for kickers with more than 40 attempts.

With running back Sean Tucker and linebacker Mikel Jones each being named to multiple award watch lists, Szmyt is now the third Syracuse player with a chance to bring home an individual trophy this season. 

The 20 Lou Groza Award semifinalists will be announced Nov. 3. A panel of more than 100 coaches, media members, former Groza honorees and others will select three finalists for the award to be released in late November. The award will be presented to the winner on Dec. 8.

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