Pitt kicker Alex Kessman has been named to the watch list for the Lou Groza Award, given annually to the best kicker in college football.
Kessman, a redshirt junior, made 13 of 17 field goals (76.5%) in 2018 and 40 of 43 extra points for a total of 79 points to set a career high and pace the Panthers. He also set a school record with four field goals made from over 50 yards and extended his school-record career total to six.
The 6-foot-3 native of Clarkston, Michigan made a 45-yard field goal to tie Pitt’s 2018 game against Syracuse with eight seconds left in regulation as part of a game that also saw his set the record for the longest field goal ever kicked at Heinz Field — a 55-yarder booted in the driving rain.
The Groza Award has been given annually since 1992 and is presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. It is named after former Ohio State and Cleveland Browns tackle and placekicker Lou “The Toe” Groza.
Syracuse’s Andre Szmyt is the reigning winner. No Pitt kicker has ever won the award.
Kessman is the fourth Pitt player to be placed on a preseason watch list, joining center Jimmy Morrissey (Rimington and Outland), safety Damar Hamlin (Bednarik) and wide receiver/kick returner Maurice Ffrench (All-ACC and Maxwell).