A couple of years ago, Oklahoma was among the worst teams in the country insofar as place-kicking goes. Junior Michael Hunnicutt changed all that and is one of the two kickers from the Big 12 on the preseason watch list for the 2013 Lou Groza Award. Hunnicutt averaged 62 yards on kickoffs last season and was successful on 17 of 21 field goals and 57 of 59 point-after attempts. Sophomore kicker Jaden Obercrom of TCU is the other Groza candidate from the Big 12. Obercrom was a semifinalist for the Groza Award a year ago.
Named after NFL Hall of Famer Lou “the Toe” Groza, who had a remarkable 21-year career with the Cleveland Browns that spanned three decades, the Groza Award recognizes the top place-kicker in college football. Randy Bullock of Texas A&M (2011), Dan Bailey of Oklahoma State (2010) and Martin Gramatica of Kansas State (1997) are previous winners of the Groza Award representing the Big 12.
The Ray Guy Award was created by the Augusta Sports Council to honor the country’s top collegiate punter. A Georgia native and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Guy was a siven-time Pro-Bowl punter with the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders, with whom he played for 14 seasons. Iowa State junior Kirby Van Der Kamp, who averagesd 41 yards per punt in 2012 with a longest punt of 60 yards, and TCU’s Ethan Perry, with the Big 12 third-best punting average last season, at 44.5 yards per kick, and a longest of 64 yards, are preseason candidates on the Guy Award watch list.
Both awards will be presented on Dec. 12 during the Home Depot College Football Awards show on ESPN.