John Baron II Lands on the Lou Groza Award Watch List
July 12, 2017
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -
San Diego State junior John Baron II (Temecula, Calif.) has been named to the watch list for the 2017 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission announced Wednesday. Baron, a semifinalist for the award last year, is one of 30 on the initial watch list for the 2017 season.
Baron is coming off a season where he set school records in field goals (21) and field goal percentage (.913), going 21 of 23 on the year. Baron, who enters 2017 with 19 consecutive makes from 50 or less yards, led the Aztecs with 119 points last season and ranked 10th nationally in field goal percentage, 20th in points per game among kickers (8.50) and field goals per game (1.50), and 35th in overall points per game (8.50). For his efforts, he became SDSU’s first Lou Groza Award semifinalist since J.C. Mejia in 2003 and was the first San Diego State kicker to earn first-team all-Mountain West honors in program history.
So far this preseason, Baron has been named a first-team all-MW selection by Athlon Sports, Lindy’s Sports and Phil Steele Magazine. Additionally, Baron has been rated as the seventh-best kicker in the 2018 NFL Draft by Phil Steele and the eighth-best kicker in FBS by Lindy’s.
The Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award will announce its 20 semifinalists on Nov. 2. 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 by Nov. 21. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Dec. 7 during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPNU.
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.
The Aztecs are coming off an 11-3 season, knocking off Wyoming, 27-24, in the MW Championship game and Houston, 34-10, in the Las Vegas Bowl, to finish with a No. 25 ranking in both the AP Top 25 poll and the Amway Coaches Poll. It is just the second time that SDSU has been ranked in the final AP poll in program history (also 1977). The 11 wins tied a school single-season record as San Diego State became the first team in program history with back-to-back 11-win campaigns.
2017 Aztec football season tickets and mini plans are now on sale. Season tickets start at $125, while mini plans start at $90. Fans can purchase tickets at GoAztecs.com, over the phone by calling (619) 283-7378, or by visiting Qualcomm Stadium's Window E Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. PT and 5 p.m. PT.