WEST PALM BEACH, FL. -- Fresno State senior place-kicker Kody Kroening has been named to the 2017 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Preseason Watch List, as announced by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission on Wednesday morning.
Awarded to the top kicker in collegiate football, Kroening is one of 30 kickers on the watch list. A native of San Jose, Kroening was a Lou Groza semifinalist and an All-Mountain West honorable mention selection as a junior in 2016 appearing in 11 of the 'Dogs 12 games as the team did not have a field goal or point-after attempt in the single contest not appeared in (Colorado State).
Despite missing his first attempt and his final attempt of the season, Kroening made 15 consecutive field goals in between during the season to match the Fresno State school record for consecutive field goals made in a single-season that was set by Kevin Goessling in 2009. With a 88.2 accuracy percentage (15-of-17), the business management major ranked No. 13 in the FBS and No. 5 in the Mountain West in accuracy as the MW was home to six of FBS football's 15 most accurate kickers in 2016.
Kroening ranked third in the MW in field goals per game with 1.36, which also ranked No. 31 in the FBS while he was a perfect 23-of-23 on PAT kicking leading the club with a team-high 68 points. He set a career-long made field goal on Oct. 22 at Utah State with a 49-yard FG after previously setting a career-long of 47 yards on Oct. 1 at UNLV and went an impressive 6-of-7 on field goals greater than 40 yards as his only miss was a 43-yard attempt that was blocked on Nov. 19 vs. Hawai'i at the end of regulation. He made a single-game high three field goals at Nevada on Oct. 8 with makes of 25, 35 and 44 yards.
In his career, Kroening is 30-of-39 on field goals and 99-of-102 on PAT attempts and has amassed 189 points. He enters his final campaign as a Bulldog this fall needing 34 points to reach the top 10 all-time in scoring in program history and is 77 points shy of reaching the top five.
Kroening is one of five Mountain West kickers on the watch list joined by John Barron II from San Diego State, Bryce Crawford from San Jose State, Jason Sanders from New Mexico and Luke Strebel from Air Force. The ACC led the nation with six kickers on the watch list followed by the MW and SEC with five apiece. All 10 FBS conferences had at least one kicker on the watch list as C-USA (4), American (3) and the Big 10 (3) also had multiple selections.
The Lou Groza Award is named for NFL Hall of Fame kicker Lou "The Toe" Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns where he won four NFL championships and was named the NFL Player of the Year in 1954. The 26th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl Committee, recognizes three finalists during a celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet on December 4th. For mor information on the Lou Groza Award, visit lougrozaaward.com.