Kansas State junior place kicker Jack Cantele was one of 30 players nationally and one of four from the Big 12 to be named to the Lou Groza Award watch list, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission announced Wednesday.
Cantele’s honor marks the eighth time a Wildcat kicker has been mentioned for the award and the first since his older brother, Anthony, was a semifinalist in 2012.
Martin Gramatica won the award in 1997 and was a runner-up in 1998. Jamie Rheem was a two-time runner-up in 1999 and 2000, while his younger brother, Joe, was a semifinalist in 2004. Brooks Rossman was also a candidate in 2007.
A former walk-on, Cantele was good on 11 of 13 field goals in 2013, including a 4-for-6 mark on attempts from at least 40 yards. He was 40 of 41 on extra-point attempts and his 73 points last season ranked second in school history among sophomores. Cantele’s is field goal percentage of 84.6 percent was fifth overall in school history.
Cantele, a product of Wichita, connected on all four field goal attempts against TCU, including the game-winner with 3 seconds remaining in a 33-31 victory last season. It was K-State’s first game-winning field goal with less than a minute remaining in regulation since 1980, as he went on to earn Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week.
Twenty semifinalists for the 2014 Lou Groza Award will be announced on Nov. 6, while three finalists will be chosen on Nov. 24. The winner of the award will be announced Dec. 11 during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN.