John Hoyland named 1 of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza National Collegiate Place-Kicker Award

Sept 16, 2022; Laramie, WY, USA; Wyoming Cowboys kicker John Hoyland (46) against the Air Force Falcons at War Memorial Stadium. (Troy Babbitt-UW Media-Athletics)

Three Finalists to be Named on Nov. 29

LARAMIE, Wyo. — For the first time in his career, University of Wyoming sophomore place-kicker John Hoyland has been named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza National Collegiate Place-Kicker Award. Hoyland is one of 20 kickers at the Football Bowl Subdivision level to be selected as a semifinalist.

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission made the announcement of the 2022 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award presented by the Orange Bowl on Thursday.

Hoyland currently is tied for No. 1 in the nation in made field goals per game, averaging 2.11 per game. He is tied with Michigan senior Jake Moody. Both kickers have made 19 field goals in nine games played this season. Moody is also a semifinalist for this year’s Groza Award, which he won a season ago. Hoyland is ranked No. 17 among all FBS players in field-goal percentage (90.5 percent) and is No. 1 in the Mountain West. He also ranks scoring No. 23 in the nation and No. 1 in the MW in scoring among all players at all positions, averaging 8.7 points per game.

He becomes the second Cowboy place-kicker to be named a Groza Award Semifinalist in the past five seasons. In 2018, then Wyoming junior Cooper Rothe was named one of 20 semifinalists and went on to be named one of three finalists for the Groza Award.

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The sophomore from Broomfield, Colo., has made 19 of 21 field goals this season or 90.5 percent. He has also made 21 of 21 point-after-touchdown attempts. Among Hoyland’s made field goals this year are kicks of 51 and 55 yards. His only two misses on the season came from 44 and 55 yards. He needs only one more field goal to tie the Wyoming single-season record for made field goals of 20, which is currently held by Cory Wedel, who made 20 field goals in 1996, and J.D. Wallum, who made 20 in 2001.

For his career, Hoyland has made 42 of 49 field goals (85.7 percent) and 77 of 77 PATs. His 42 made field goals ranks fourth in Wyoming school history.

Semifinalists will be voted on by a panel of more than 100 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists and current NFL kickers to select the three finalists. These finalists will be announced on Nov. 29 and honored at the 31st annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Banquet on Dec. 5 in Palm Beach County. The same panel then select the winner, who will be announced live on ESPN during the Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 8.

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.

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Since the first Lou Groza Award was first handed out in 1992, 28 finalists, including 16 winners, have gone on to appear in the NFL, earning 13 trips to the Pro Bowl and taking home 7 Super Bowls. That list includes 2022 NFL kickers Rodrigo Blankenship, Randy Bullock, Daniel Carlson Mason Crosby, Jake Elliott, Ka’imi Fairbairn, Graham Gano, Matt Gay, Zane Gonzalez, Dustin Hopkins, Younghoe Koo and Cairo Santos.

For more information regarding the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, please visit LouGrozaAward.com, or follow @LouGrozaAward on Twitter for updates as they happen.

Hoyland has been named the Mountain West Conference Special Teams Player of the Week four times during his career, including three times this season. In a win against Northern Colorado earlier this season, Hoyland made four field goals, tying a career high. It was the third time in his career that he had made four field goals in a single game. The other times were vs. Tulsa in 2022 and at Nevada in 2020. He was named MW Special Teams Player of the Week for each of those three games, as well as earning the honor most recently for his performance in a 27-20 Wyoming win at Hawai’i.

Earlier this season, Hoyland was named a Mid-season Second Team All-American by Pro Football Focus (PFF). As a true freshman in 2020, he earned Second Team All-Mountain West Conference honors, and he was also the only place-kicker named to the 2020 Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-America team.