Courtesy: Kansas State Athletics
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State senior Matthew McCrane is one of 20 place kickers in the nation to be named a semifinalist for the 2017 Lou Groza Award, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission announced Thursday.
McCrane, the lone Big 12 place kicker on the list, is the fifth Wildcat to be named a semifinalist for the award. Martin Gramaticawas the 1997 winner and 1998 runner up, while Jamie Rheem was the runner up in both 1999 and 2000. Joe Rheem (2004) and Anthony Cantele (2012) were also semifinalists for the award.
A product of Brownwood, Texas, McCrane leads the Big 12 and ranks fifth nationally with 15 field goals this season. His total includes three of at least 50 yards, including the two longest field goals in the Big 12 this season when he made a 54-yarder at Texas and a 53-yarder against Central Arkansas.
McCrane is threatening to break several school records, while he will leave K-State with several top-10 rankings. He is currently first in school history in career field-goal percentage (86.4; 51-59) and career extra-point percentage (.991; 114-115), while he is tied for the single-season and career (5) records for 50-yard field goals made.
A two-time All-Big 12 placekicker, McCrane also ranks second in career field goals made with 51, just three behind Gramatica for the record. His 267 career points rank fifth in school history overall and third among kickers. His 18 field goals in 2014 – a year he was named a Freshman All-American – are tied for fifth in school history, while this year’s total is 10th.
Three finalists for the award will be announced on Tuesday, November 21, and be honored at the 26th annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Awards Banquet on December 4. The winner of the 2017 Lou Groza Award will be announced live on ESPN at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Thursday, December 7.
Kansas State meets Texas Tech on Saturday, an 11 a.m., contest inside Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. The game will be shown nationally on FS1.