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December 11, 2008

Graham Gano brings home the Groza

Other than Myron Rolle winning multiple academics honors, it's been a while since a Florida State football player won a national award. In fact, you have to go all the way back to the 2000 season to find the last time when when a Seminole player won a major individual honor. That year, both Chris Weinke (Heisman, O'Brien and Unitas) and Jamal Reynolds (Lombardi) took home national awards.

It took kicker to break FSU's individual award cold streak.

On Thursday at the College Football Awards Show, Graham Gano took home Lou Groza Award given to the nation's top placekicker. The 'Noles' senior kicker edged out finalists Josh Arauco of Arkansas State and Louie Sakoda of Utah for the honor.

Florida State is no stranger to the Groza Award. In 1998 an 1999 Sebastian Janikowski took home the trophy and became the only two-time Groza winner.

After missing the first two games of 2008 following knee surgery, Gano came on to lead the nation in field goal kicking hitting 24 of his 26 attempts. At one point the Pensacola, Florida native hit 18 consecutive kicks setting a new school record. He also hit a nation-high five kicks from 50 yards or further out. Later in the season he also handled punting and kickoff duties for the Seminoles.

Gano not only had the top field goal percentage (92.3%) in the country, he also led all kickers in scoring average (9.9 points a game).

The Seminoles' strong-legged kicker was also named a Rivals.com first team All-American this week.


Gene WilliamsGene Williams is the founder and administrator of Warchant.com and writes stories and features covering all of FSU's sports with an emphasis on football and football recruiting. For seven years, Williams hosted a weekly sports radio show in Tallahassee. He currently appears as a weekly guest on 1010 XL Sports Radio in Jacksonville and 1270 The Team in Tallahassee during football season. Williams is also a former ACC correspondent for College Football News (weekly national newspaper), and contributes to The Osceola. Story about Gene Williams & Warchant.com.

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