Last year he was named a first-team Freshman All-American by ESPN.com and a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, presented annually to the nation’s top placekicker since 1992. Wednesday, Colorado’s 31-year old sophomore placekicker James Stefanou, the oldest active player in the FBS, was one of 30 players named to the Lou Groza Award watch list.
Colorado kicker James Stefanou one of 30 on preseason watch list for Lou Groza Award, and punter Alex Kinney one of 28 on preseason watch list for Ray Guy Award. #cubuffs— Brian Howell (@BrianHowell33) July 25, 2018
As a 30-year old freshman last season, Stefanou got off to a hot start, connecting on 10 of his first 11 field goal attempts for the third best start to a career in CU history with one miss. The Melbourne, Australia native finished his freshman campaign making 17 of his 22 field goal attempts and was a perfect 35-for-35 on extra point tries. As a result of last season’s success, Stefanou became just the third Buffaloes player to be named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award joining Mason Crosby (2005 & 2006) and Will Oliver (2013).
Prior to stepping onto Boulder’s campus, Stefanou played soccer professionally in Australia before joining ProKick Australia, an organization launched in 2007 to help Australian athletes transition to kick at college/NFL level. The last five Ray Guy Award (best punter) winners were all ProKick Australia alumni.
Stefanou is one of five Pac-12 placekickers on this year’s Lou Groza Award watch list, joining last year’s winner Matt Gay (Utah), JJ Molson (UCLA), Brandon Ruiz (Arizona State) and Jet Toner (Stanford). A Pac-12 kicker has won the award each of the last three years.