July 10, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State's Nick Diaz has been named to the 2013 Lou Groza College Placekicker Award Watch List it was announced Wednesday by the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA).
In all, Diaz is one of 30 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) players named to the Lou Groza Placekicker Award Watch List, which is presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
Diaz, who is the only player from the state of Utah to be named to the Lou Groza Placekicker Award Watch List, is one of just three Mountain West placekickers recognized along with San Jose State's Austin Lopez and Colorado State's Jared Roberts.
Other preseason honors for Diaz this summer include being one of 34 players named to the College Football Performance Awards Special Teams Watch List along with being a Phil Steele preseason fourth-team all-Mountain West selection.
Diaz, a 5-8, 193-pounder from Redondo Beach, Calif., served as Utah State's placekicker the final seven games of the 2012 season and made 10-of-13 (.769) fields goals to rank eighth all-time at USU for a single-season in percentage. He also made all 40 of his extra points to rank tied for first all-time in school history for a single season as his 40 extra points made ranks second all-time at USU for a single-season, while his 40 attempts ranks third. Diaz also made a career-long field goal of 53 yards during the 2012 season, which ranks eighth all-time in school history.
Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2012 season and 2013 expectations. Ten conferences are represented among the 30 kickers, led by four each from the ACC, Big Ten, Conference USA and the MAC, while the Mountain West placed three representatives.
The Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award will announce its 20 semifinalists on Monday, November 4 and the top three finalists will be announced on Monday, November 25. The national winner will be announced on Thursday, December 12 during the Home Depot College Football Awards.
The Award is named for National Football League Hall of Fame kicker Lou "The Toe" Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Although an All-Pro offensive lineman as well, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.
For more information on the Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award and to see the "Stars of the Week" throughout the season, please go to www.lougrozaaward.com. For even more updates on the best kicking performances throughout the season, follow @LouGrozaAward on Twitter.
Utah State returns 49 lettermen (offense-23, defense-22, specialists-4) and 18 starters (offense-8, defense-7, specialists-3) from its most successful team in school history as USU ended the 2012 season with a school-best 11-2 record as it set school records for wins (11) and home wins (6), while recording just its second bowl win in school history with a 41-15 victory against Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. USU also won its first outright conference championship since 1936, as it went 6-0 in the Western Athletic Conference, and just its third in school history joining the 1921 and 1936 teams that both won Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference titles.
Utah State ended the 2012 season nationally ranked for just the third time in school history as it finished the year ranked 16th in the Associated Press poll, 17th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll and 22nd in the Bowl Championship Series standings. USU also finished the 2012 season winning its final seven games, which is tied for the fourth-longest active winning streak in the nation and tied for the third-longest winning streak in school history.
Utah State will open the 2013 season on Thursday, Aug. 29 at Utah and play its first Mountain West game the following weekend at Air Force on Saturday, Sept. 7. USU's first home game of the 2013 campaign will be on Saturday, Sept. 14 against Weber State, while its first home Mountain West game will be on Saturday, Oct. 12 against Boise State.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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