He's not doing all that bad for a skier turned football player. Wednesday morning, Andy Phillips was named to the 2014 Groza Award watch list. The Lou Groza award is awarded to the nations best place kick at the end of every season. Phillips is the second player from Utah to be named to a preseason award watch list, after Dres Anderson.
Phillips, coming off being a 2013 Groza Award semifinalist, is expected to take over where he left off after his spectacular first season up on The Hill. Last season Phillips was 17-of-20 (85%) on field goals. His misses were all 30-yards and longer, with two of the misses coming between 40-49 yards. He was one-of-one on 50+ yard attempts with a 51-yard kick. He was also 41-of-41 on extra points.
Here's what was written about Phillips in the press release:
A 2013 Groza semifinalist, Phillips had never played football at any level before stepping on the field last season. The former US Ski team member proved a natural place-kicker, connecting on the first 39 kicks of his career. His eight field goals from 40-49 yards tied for the most in the nation from that distance.
Here's more on the award itself:
Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2013 season and 2014 expectations. All ten FBS conferences are represented among the 30 kickers, led by four each from the American, Big 12, Mountain West, and Pac-12. The ACC, MAC and SEC each placed three kickers, followed by a pair from the Big Ten. Conference USA and the Sun Belt each placed one kicker, along with independent Notre Dame.
Accomplishments are tabulated throughout the season and the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award will announce its 20 semifinalists on Thursday, November 6th. From this list, a panel of more than 300 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, and former Groza finalists selects the top three finalists for the award by Monday, November 24th. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, December 11th during the Home Depot College Football Awards, broadcast live from Orlando, Fla.
Congrats to Andy Phillips for being named to this list. He's going to be crucial to Utah's success in 2014.