July 9, 2014
Palm Beach, Fla. -- Wolfpack senior Niklas Sade has been named to the preseason watch list for the 2014 Lou Groza Award, as announced by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission today. The award, which will be presented on Dec. 11, has been given annually to the nation’s top placekicker for the past 22 years.
Sade, who has started all 38 games of his career, holds the NC State record for extra points with 121 - the 16th-best mark in ACC history. He ranks fourth in school history in career field goals made with 43 and in PAT percentage with a .975 mark.
The Wake Forest native was a semifinalist for the Groza Award last season after posting the second-highest field goal total in school history with 19. He improved his field goal percentage from .565 (13-23) in 2012 to .826 (19-23) in 2013. Sade was the recipient of the team’s Governor’s Award, which is given to the Most Valuable Player.
On Nov. 6, 20 semifinalists for the award will be announced. From that list, a panel of more than 300 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, and former Groza finalists will select the top three finalists by Monday, November 24th. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, December 11th during the Home Depot College Football Awards, broadcast live from Orlando, Fla.
The 23rd Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl Committee, recognizes the three finalists during an early week celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet on December 9th, prior to joining ESPN in Orlando.
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.