Auburn, Ala.--On the verge of completing one of the finest careers for any kicker in Auburn history, on Tuesday senior kicker John Vaughn was named one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award after a terrific senior season for the Tigers.
Presented annually to the nation's top kicker the Palm Beach County Sports Institute and Palm Beach County Sports Commission, the Lou Groza Award is the premier award for any kicker and Vaughn fits the bill to perfection in 2006.
A Brentwood, Tenn., native, Vaughn has connected on 19-of-23 field goals this season and is tied for third nationally in field goals made. Vaughn has made four field goals twice in a game this season and his field goal percentage of 82.6 is second nationally among kickers with at least 20 attempts.
He is third in the SEC in scoring, averaging 7.4 points per game, and is 2-of-3 in field goals of 50+ yards this season, connecting from 52 and 55 yards.
Vaughn is Auburn's all-time leading scorer with 307 career points, which ranks 13th in SEC history. He also holds Auburn career records for extra points with 160 (tied for fourth in SEC history) and field goals with 49.
Vaughn boots an extra point through against Alabama last Saturday.
He becomes second Auburn player in the last six years to be named a Groza Award finalist. Former Tiger All-American Damon Duval was a finalist in 2001 and Scott Etheridge was a finalist in the inaugural year of the award in 1992.
The three finalists for the Lou Groza Award will be honored at the 15th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Banquet on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott.
The 2006 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award winner will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 7 during the ESPN Home Depot College Football Award Show in Orlando, Fla. Vaughn joins Arthur Carmody of Louisville and Garrett Hartley of Oklahoma as the other finalists.
All Division I-A kickers are eligible for the Award named for NFL Hall of Fame Kicker Lou "The Toe" Groza. Voters for the award include Division I-A head coaches, sports writers and sportscasters, conference representatives, professional kickers and previous Groza Award finalists.
The award, now in its 15th year, is named for NFL Hall of Fame kicker Lou Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Nicknamed "The Toe," Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954.