Peattie Names Semi-finalist For Groza Award

University of Miami freshman placekicker is among 20 semi-finalists for the 2003 Lou Groza Award honoring college football's top placekicker, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission announced Tuesday night.

Peattie (Clearwater, Fla./Countryside HS) has produced an outstanding season in his first year as Miami's full-time placekicker. He has given the Hurricanes with a reliable and consistent kicker, providing a solution to one of the team's major preseason concerns. Peattie has made 14 of 18 field goal attempts through the season's first eight games, including a stretch in which he made 10 consecutive field goals, the third-best streak in Miami history. Peattie is a perfect 26 of 26 on extra-point attempts, leads the team in scoring with 68 points and ranks 10th nationally in field goals per game (1.75 avg.). He made a school-record five field goals, including the game-winner from three yards in the final seconds, to provide the difference in Miami's 22-20 squeaker over West Virginia on Oct. 2. Peattie made three of four field goal attempts in Miami's 22-14 win at Florida State on Oct. 11 and his 14 field goals made ties for ninth on the Miami single-season list.

Voters for the award include Division I-A head coaches, sports writers and sportscasters, conference representatives, professional kickers, and previous Groza Award finalists. The three finalists for the Lou Groza Award will be announced on Monday, November 17.

The award, now in its 12th year, is named for NFL Hall-of-Fame kicker Lou Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Nicknamed "The Toe," Groza was one of the first make kicking an art form, and he helped usher into football the idea that a player could be used exclusively for kicking. The Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Banquet will take place on Tuesday, December 9, 2003, at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

The 20 semi-finalists (in alphabetical order) for the 2003 Groza Award:

Steve Azar Senior Northern Illinois
Xavier Beitia Junior Florida State
Nick Browne Senior TCU
Trey DiCarlo Sophomore Oklahoma
Drew Dunning Senior Washington State
Connor Hughes Sophomore Virginia
Ben Jones Sophomore Purdue
Nate Kaeding Senior Iowa
Ryan Killeen Junior Southern California
Matt Leach Junior Florida
J.C. Mejia Senior San Diego State
Jonathan Nichols Junior Mississippi
Nick Novak Junior Maryland
Matt Payne Junior Brigham Young
Jon Peattie Freshman Miami
Dillon Pieffer Senior Nevada-Las Vegas
David Rayner Junior Michigan State
Nate Smith Senior Louisville
Andrew Wellock Freshman Eastern Michigan
Kirk Yliniemi Senior Oregon State

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