Nichols named Groza Award finalist
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Graham Nicholson is one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation's top placekicker. The junior is the first RedHawk and third placekicker in Mid-American Conference history to be named a finalist for the Lou Groza Award. Jose Pizano (UNLV) and Will Reichard (Alabama) are also up for the award.
The Cincinnati, Ohio native has been nearly perfect this season, connecting on 23-of-23 field goal attempts and 33-of-34 extra points. He is 8-of-8 on field goals over 40 yards, which includes a career-long 52-yarder earlier this year in a win over Bowling Green.
Nicholson has made a field goal in all 12 games this year, including three makes versus Kent State, Ohio and Buffalo. He also . . .
. . . drilled a pair of crucial fourth quarter field goals in wins over Cincinnati and Ball State, helping Miami to a 10-2 regular season record and a trip to the MAC Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 2.
This year's finalists were selected by a panel of more than 100 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists, and current NFL kickers. These finalists will be honored at the 32nd annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Awards Banquet on Dec. 4 in Palm Beach County. The same voting panel then selects the winner, who will be announced live on ESPN at the Home Depot College Football Awards on Friday, Dec. 8.
Since the first Lou Groza Award was handed out in 1992, 30 finalists, including 17 winners, have gone on to appear in the NFL, earning 13 trips to the Pro Bowl and taking home seven Super Bowls. That list includes 2023 NFL kickers Randy Bullock, Daniel Carlson Jake Elliott, Ka'imi Fairbairn, Graham Gano, Matt Gay, Dustin Hopkins, Younghoe Koo, Jake Moody and Cairo Santos.
Editor-Publisher Mike Smith
Mike grew up in Mid-American Conference football and basketball territory and returned there after military service. He has been covering MAC football and men's basketball for much of the last several decades.