July 10, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Senior Jeff Budzien, the returning Bakken-Anderson Big Ten Co-Kicker of the Year, is among the 30 place-kickers from across the country named to the preseason watch list for the 2013 Lou Groza Award, presented annually to the nation's most outstanding kicker.
Budzien was a semifinalist for the Groza Award a year ago when he converted 19-of-20 field goal attempts -- setting an NU single-season record for accuracy -- including 6-of-7 on tries from 40 yards or longer. He also matched his own school record by converting 50-of-50 point after attempts, moving into fifth place all-time in the Big Ten with 101 consecutive made PAT's (101-of-101 career).
Budzien keyed several Northwestern victories during the Wildcats' 10-3 season a year ago, highlighted by his 5-for-5 performance on field goal tries in a 22-13 win over Boston College. He also broke a late 41-41 tie with the game-winning extra point in the season-opening road win over Syracuse and provided the winning points in a 23-20 victory in enemy territory against Michigan State.
With his 107 points scored in 2012, Budzien moved into eighth on Northwestern's all-time scoring list with 176 career points, 86 shy of the school standard of 262 set by Brian Gowins (1995-98).
Semifinalists for the Groza Award will be announced Nov. 4, with three finalists being unveiled on Nov. 25. The winner will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 12.
The Lou Groza Award is part of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-period in the month of July:
Mon., July 8: Bednarik Award / Maxwell Award
Tue., July 9: Mackey Award / Rimington Trophy
Wed., July 10: Lou Groza Award / Ray Guy Award
Thu., July 11: Bronko Nagurski Trophy / Outland Trophy
Fri., July 12: Jim Thorpe Award
Mon., July 15: Butkus Award / Rotary Lombardi Award
Tue., July 16: Biletnikoff Award
Wed., July 17: Davey O'Brien Award
Thu., July 18: Doak Walker Award
Fri., July 19: Walter Camp Award
Coming off a 10-win season last fall, Northwestern opens the 2013 campaign on Saturday, Aug. 31 at California and makes its debut at Ryan Field when it hosts Syracuse on Saturday, Sept. 7.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook, subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!