– The Palm Beach County Sports Commission announced its 30-player Watch List for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award and Temple's sophomore Aaron Boumerhi
was among the recognized players.
Only two other sophomores – Florida State's Ricky Aguayo and Ohio's Louie Zervos -made the impressive list.
Among returning kickers who attempted at least 15 field goals, only 14 connected at a rate of at least 84%, and all of them found their way to the Watch List: Ole Miss senior Gary Wunderlich (95.7), Minnesota junior Emmit Carpenter (91.7), Penn State senior Davis (91.7), San Diego State junior John Baron II (91.3), San Jose State junior Bryce Crawford (88.9), Boumerhi (88.2), Fresno State senior Kody Kroening (88.2), Air Force senior Luke Strebel (88.0), Carlson (87.5), California senior Matt Anderson (84.6), Kentucky senior Austin MacGinnis (84.2), Louisville sophomore Blanton Creque (84.2), Middle Tennessee senior Canon Rooker (84.2) and Florida junior Eddy Pineiro (84.0).
Boumerhi's individual write-up in the Commission's press release recognized not just Boumerhi but Temple's senior kicker Austin Jones
"Perhaps no school should enter 2017 feeling more confident about their place-kicking than Temple, which saw Austin Jones (10-for-12) go down with an injury halfway through last season, only to watch Boumerhi step in without missing a beat. The true freshman's stand-in performance earned him a scholarship, and gives the Owls two of the nation's best."
Boumerhi spent the first half of 2016 as an understudy to Jones but was thrust into action in the fourth quarter of game six after Jones' injury. He went on to connect on 15-of-17 field goals, including a long of 48 in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game at Navy, and was 29-of-30 on PATs. The walk-on freshman was awarded a scholarship following the season.
The 26th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl Committee, recognizes the three finalists during a celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet on December 4.
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 Place-Kicker Award and to see the "Stars of the Week" throughout the season, please go to www.lougrozaaward.com.