West Palm Beach, Fla. - University of Missouri sophomore placekicker Grant Resse(Jackson, Mo.) has been named a semifinalist for the 2009 Lou Groza Award, which goes to the nation's top placekicker. Ressel was named as one of 20 semifinalists up for the award, as announced today by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
Ressel, who came to MU as a walk-on, has been one of the top kickers in the nation after winning the starting job late in fall camp in August. He's been near-perfect through nine games, as he's 43-of-44 on combined kicks (97.7%), including 17-of-18 on field goals (94.4%) and a perfect 26-of-26 on extra points. He's had some big shoes to fill, as MU's last kicker, Jeff Wolfert, established an NCAA record as the most accurate kicker in NCAA history for combined kicks (244-of-257 [94.9%] from 2006-08).
Ressel is currently 6-of-7 from 40 yards or longer, including making three 46-yarders, with two of those coming last week against Baylor. One of his 46-yarders against the Bears was a crucial one with 2:55 to play that pulled Mizzou to within 40-32. His only miss of the year came on a 43-yard attempt on Oct. 8th against Nebraska, in monsoon-like conditions, when the snap appeared to be a little high, which threw off the timing of the kick.
Ressel is approaching the MU single-season record for most FGs made. The current mark is 21, set in 2007 by Jeff Wolfert. He currently ranks 1st in the Big 12 (4th in the NCAA) in field goals per game (1.89) and is 2nd in the Big 12 and 17th in the nation in scoring (8.56 ppg).
Entering the Kansas State game this weekend, Ressel is also 2nd in the NCAA lead in FG accuracy, among those with 10 or more attempts:
NCAA FIELD GOAL ACCURACY (Minimum 10 Attempts Thru Games of Nov. 7th)
Rank Player (Year) School Pct. (Makes-Atts.)
1. Craig Ratanamorn (Sr.) Marshall 100.0% (11-of-11)
2. Grant Ressel (So.) Mizzou 94.4% (17-of-18)
3. Alan Gendreau (So.) Middle Tennessee 93.3% (14-of-15)
3. Robert Randolph (So.) Virginia 93.3% (14-of-15)
5. Blair Walsh (So.) Georgia 92.9% (13-of-14)
5. Wes Byrum (Jr.) Auburn 92.9% (13-of-14)
Semi-finalists will be voted on by all Division 1 Head Coaches and SID's, along with national, regional and local football writers and others who will select the three (3) finalists. The winner will be announced live on the nationally televised Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on the evening of December 10, 2009.
For more information regarding the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award and to follow the season progress, please go to www.lougrozaaward.com. Additional information can be obtained by contacting Kris Pursell, Event Manager at the Palm Beach County Sports Commission at (561) 233-3124 or firstname.lastname@example.org.