Eve Craig/SunDevilSource

ASU kicker Zane Gonzalez wins prestigious Lou Groza Award

Arizona State kicker Zane Gonzalez joined Thomas Weber as the second kicker in Sun Devils' history to win the Lou Groza Award.

Outside of predicting the outcome of a Zane Gonzalez field goal attempt, perhaps nothing in college football this season was an easier bet than guessing the winner of the Lou Groza Award.

On Thursday evening, Arizona State's Gonzalez became the second kicker in ASU program history to win the Groza Award, given annually to the top placekicker in college football.

The Deer Park, Texas native joined former ASU kicker Thomas Weber, who won the award following the 2007 season, as the program's second Groza Award winner.

Gonzalez's coronation caps off one of the greatest seasons ever for a college kicker, as the Sun Devils' senior connected on 23-of-25 field goal attempts including 7-of-9 attempts from beyond 50 yards. Gonzalez's seven field goals from 50 yards or longer are the second most by a kicker in FBS history.

Gonzalez was selected for the award ahead of finalists Daniel Carlson of Auburn and Younghoe Koo of Georgia Southern.

The award serves as the final distinction for one of the greatest kickers in college football history, as Gonzalez leaves ASU as the all-time FBS leader in field goals with (96) and the all-time FBS leader in points by a kicker (494). 

Gonzalez broke the record for points by a kicker held by former Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins with a 59-yard field goal in ASU's 40-16 loss to Colorado, which marked the longest field goal by any kicker in the FBS this season.

During the regular season, Gonzalez earned four Lou Groza Star of the Week honors, the most of any kicker in the country. His six career Groza Star of the Week honors are the most by any kicker in the award's history.

In the past week, Gonzalez was also named the First Team All-Pac-12 placekicker and a First-Team All-American by Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, USA Today and Pro Football Focus.

Gonzalez entered the 2016 season without a single field goal from beyond 50 yards during the first three years of his career, and wound up kicking field goals of at least 50 yards in four different games this season, including the contest against Colorado in which Gonzalez went 3-for-3 from beyond 50 yards.

Gonzalez's 92 percent conversion rate on field goal attempts this season ranked second in the FBS among kickers with at least 20 field goals made.

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