Deraney Named A Groza Award Semifinalist

NC State kicker John Deraney is one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation's top placekicker.

NC State kicker John Deraney is one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation's top placekicker.

A junior from Fayetteville, Georgia, Deraney is in his second season as NC State's starting placekicker. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder also handles punting duties for the Wolfpack.

On the season, Deraney has connected on 11-of-13 field goal attempts, an 84.6% conversion rate. His longest kick of the season, a 48-yarder, came last weekend in NC State's 20-15 victory over Florida State. Deraney has also connected on 20-of-20 extra point attempts. He hasn't missed an extra point kick since his junior year of high school.

Joining Deraney among the semifinalists include ACC kickers Jad Dean (Clemson), Connor Hughes (Virginia), Brandon Pace (Virginia Tech), and Sam Swank (Wake Forest). Also named to the list are Mike Barrow (Idaho), Dan Beardall (Utah), Kenny Byrd (New Mexico), Brandon Coutu (Georgia), Mason Crosby (Colorado), Brad DeVault (Tulsa), John Huston (Ohio State), Robert Lee (East Carolina), Darren McCaleb (Southern Mississippi), Garrett Rivas (Michigan), Jason Robbins (Toledo), Kyle Schlicher (Iowa), Reagan Schneider (Texas-El Paso), Alex Serna (Oregon State), and Clint Stitser (Fresno State).

Voters for the award include Division I-A head coaches, sportswriters, sportscasters, conference representatives, professional kickers, and previous Lou Groza Award finalists. The three finalists for the award will be announced on November 21 and will be honored at the 14th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award Dinner on December 6 at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott. The 2005 Lou Groza Award winner will be announced on December 8 during the ESPN Home Depot College Football Award Show in Orlando, FL.

The award, now in its 14th year, is named for NFL Hall of Fame kicker Lou Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL titles with Cleveland and was named NFL Player-of-the-Year in 1954. Nicknamed "The Toe," he was one of the first players to truly make kicking an art-form, and he helped usher in to football the idea that a player could be used solely for kicking.


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