Nugent: OSU's First Lou Groza Award Winner

Ohio State senior Mike Nugent was named as the school's first-ever Lou Groza Award winner as the nation's top kicker. Click here for details as well as photos from Tuesday's Groza Award banquet.

Ohio State has never had a Lou Groza Award winner – until tonight.

Kicker Mike Nugent will be the latest OSU player honored with a special photo plaque in the atrium of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Nugent was named the Lou Groza Award winner during the College Football Awards Show Thursday night.

Before going down to Florida for the show, Nugent discussed the chance he had to win the award presented annually to the nation's top kicker.

"It would be one of those things I would love to receive at this point," said Nugent, who was a finalist for the award two years ago. "I'm glad to be able to go back down to West Palm Beach to the banquet for the Groza Award. The people down there are amazing.

"If somebody had told me before the season I would go 20 of 23 and hit a game winner and hit some long balls, I would have been really excited. I was glad the guys on offense and defense put us in position to make some kicks like this."

Nugent, a native of Centerville, Ohio, credited his teammates and coaches for helping him achieve this award.

"I think I work with the best coaches in the country, in my opinion, and I love my teammates, especially Kyle (Andrews) and Kyle (Turano), my long snapper and my holder," Nugent said. "I get to work with the best."

Nugent led the Buckeyes in scoring this year with 87 points and has moved into third place on the all-time OSU scoring list with 341 points. He needs seven points in the Alamo Bowl to tie career scoring leader Pete Johnson (348 points).

He owns or shares 19 school records, including the mark for most 50-yard field goals in a season with five this year.

A two-time All-American and a two-time finalist for the Lou Groza Award as the top place-kicker in college football, Nugent is the first Ohio State kicker to win team MVP honors.

During the regular season, Nugent converted all 27 of his extra point attempts and made 20 of 23 field goals tries. His 55-yard field goal as time ran out against Marshall propelled the Buckeyes to a 24-21 victory. The following week, he tied a school record with five field goals at North Carolina State.

Nugent, who has made his last 81 extra point attempts, also handles kickoffs for the Buckeyes. Thirty-four of his 55 kickoffs in 2004 resulted in touchbacks.

Here are a few special photos of Mike Nugent from the Groza Award reception Tuesday night, sent in by Matthew and Bernie Kurit:

Nugent holds his finalist plaque

All-American Roll Call

Nugent and OSU junior linebacker A.J. Hawk have been named to a first-team berth on the 2004 Walter Camp All-America team. Nugent also made the team as a sophomore. Hawk had a team-high 136 tackles and two interceptions for the Buckeyes this past year.

Nugent, Hawk and freshman punt returner Ted Ginn Jr. (26.9-yard average, four touchdowns) were named to the Sports Illustrated All-American team earlier this week.

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