Lou Groza Award watch list headlined by '12 winner Cairo Santos

By Chip Patterson | Staff Writer

Tulane kicker Cairo Santos headlines the watch list after winning the award for his perfect place-kicking performance in 2012. (USATSI)
Tulane's Cairo Santos won the award for his perfect place-kicking performance in 2012. (USATSI)

Watch list season is officially upon us. Most of college football's individual awards will be releasing preseason watch lists throughout the next week and a half, wrapping up July 19 with the Walter Camp Award watch list. Wednesday is kicker day in the watch list roll-out, as the best place-kickers and punters in the country get to shine on the initial lists for the Lou Groza Award and Ray Guy Award.

The Lou Groza Award, named for NFL Hall of Fame kicker Lou Groza, is presented annually to the nation's top place-kicker by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. Groza set numerous franchise records during 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns, and this award has been given out every year since 1992.

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission will announce a list of 20 semifinalists in November. FBS head coaches and sports information directors, along with national and regional writers and past Groza winner will then vote to narrow that group to three finalists. The winner will be announced Dec. 10.

The 2013 watch list includes last year's winner, Tulane kicker Cairo Santos. As a junior in 2012, Santos converted every field goal he attempted and beat out Florida State's Dustin Hopkins and Florida's Caleb Sturgis for the award. Santos is joined on this year's list by four other semifinalists from a year ago: San Jose State's Austin Lopez, Rice's Chris Boswell, Duke's Ross Martin and TCU's Jaden Oberkrom.

Check out the full list below. Remember, names can be added or removed from this list during the first weeks of the season. There are no official "snubs" quite yet.

Chris Boswell, Rice
Kyle Brindza, Notre Dame
Jeff Budzien, Northwestern
Chandler Catanzaro, Clemson
Brian Davis, Arkansas State
Jeremiah Detmer, Toledo
Nick Diaz, Utah State
Mitch Ewald, Indiana
Nate Freese, Boston College
Andrew Furney, Washington State
Brendan Gibbons, Michigan
Warren Harvey, East Carolina
Michael Hunnicutt, Oklahoma
Cody Journell, Virginia Tech
Ty Long, UAB
Austin Lopez, San Jose State
Ross Martin, Duke
Mike Meyer, Iowa
Tony Miliano, Cincinnati
Dylan Mulder, Eastern Michigan
Jaden Oberkrom, TCU
Cody Parkey, Auburn
Kaleb Patterson, Miami (Ohio)
Jared Roberts, Colorado State
Trevor Romaine, Oregon State
Cairo Santos, Tulane
Will Scott, Troy
Mathew Sims, Northern Illinois
Carey Spear, Vanderbilt
John Wallace, Louisville

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