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John Hoyland named to Lou Groza Award Watch List

Award is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate place-kicker

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)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — University of Wyoming junior John Hoyland is once again being recognized as one of the elite place-kickers in college football.

On Wednesday, Hoyland was named to the 2023 Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List, which is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate place-kicker, as announced by the Palm Beach County Sport Commission.

Hoyland was one of 30 named to the 2023 preseason watch list. He is coming off a 2022 season that saw him be named one of 20 semifinalists for the Groza Award. Hoyland’s 88% accuracy rate for the 2022 season is the best of any FBS kicker returning in 2023 who made more than 20 field goals last season. He achieved that percentage while being one of only two kickers in the country with four made field goals from over 50 yards during the 2022 season. Among kickers with at least 50 attempts, his career 84.9% accuracy is tied for second-best.

John Hoyland (UW)

Earlier this summer, Hoyland was named a 2023 Second Team Preseason All-American as selected by Athlon Sports and a Third Team Preseason All-American as named by Phil Steele. He was selected by Mountain West Media to the 2023 Preseason All-Conference Team, as well as being named to the First Team Preseason All-Mountain West Conference teams as selected by both Athlon Sports and Phil Steele.

Hoyland was a 2022 First Team All-Mountain West Conference selection as voted by MW head coaches and media. He led the MW and ranked No. 7 in the nation in field goals made (1.69 per game) in 2022. He also ranked No. 2 in the MW and No. 18 in the FBS in field-goal percentage (88.0%), making 22 of 25 field goal attempts. His 22 made field goals set a new Wyoming single-season school record, breaking the record of former Cowboy All-America kickers Cory Wedel, who made 20 field goals in 1996, and J.D. Wallum, who made 20 in 2001. In 2022, Hoyland made four field goals of over 50 yards — 51, 53, 53 and 55. His 55-yarder was tied for the fifth longest in the FBS last season and was the longest in the Mountain West in 2022.

The Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award will announce its 20 semifinalists on Thursday, Nov. 9. From this list, a panel of more than 100 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists and current NFL kickers will select the top three finalists for the award, which will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 28. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced in December during the Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN.

The 32nd Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl, will recognize the three finalists during a celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet on Dec. 4 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

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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