Hunnicutt named to Lou Groza Award Watch List

NORMAN, Okla. — The Palm Beach Country Sports Commission released its preseason watch list for the Lou Groza Award, and Sooner place kicker Michael Hunnicutt made the cut.

Hunnicutt, who took over for Jimmy Stevens during the third game last season, joins 29 others on the watch list for the award presented to the NCAA's most outstanding placekicking performer among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams.

He earned honorable mention All-Big 12 coaches' honors last year as a redshirt freshman after booting through a Big 12 freshman record 21 field goals, which just so happened to also tie an OU single-season record.

As part of that, the Richardson, Texas native became the first kicker in OU history to make four field goals in a pair of games in the same season, doing so against Kansas and Iowa State.

Hunnicutt scored 17 points in that contest against Kansas, tying the best single-game mark ever accumulated by an OU kicker, and he connected on a 53-yard field goal as the clock expired in the first half against Kansas State, the longest by any kicker in the Bob Stoops era.

He hit on all four of his field goal attempts from 40 yards or longer and finished 21-for-24 overall.

Hunnicutt is one of three Big 12 players mentioned on the 30-man Lou Groza Award Watch List, joining West Virginia's Tyler Bitancurt and Oklahoma State's Quinn Sharp.

Twenty semi-finalists for the honor will be announced on Nov. 5, with a panel of more than 500 experts narrowing the field to three finalists on Nov. 19.

The winner will be announced on Dec. 6 from the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show in Orlando, Fla.

The Lou Groza Award is named in honor of Pro Football Hall of Fame kicker Lou Groza, who played 21 seasons for the Cleveland Browns and was named the NFL Player of the Year in 1954.

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