WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Syracuse University redshirt sophomore Andre Szmyt highlighted the Lou Groza Award Watch List released on Wednesday and will look to be the second repeat winner of the honor presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate placekicker.

Szmyt became just the third freshman in FBS history to win the Groza Award last season and is aiming to join former Florida State kicker Sebastian Janikowski (1998-1999) as the only players to claim the prestigious honor multiple times.

Szmyt emerged as a 2018 unanimous All-American and led the nation in field goals made and attempted (30-34), field goals per game (2.31) and points per game (11.6). His 30 field goals were the most in NCAA history by a freshman and his 151 points marked the third highest single-season total for an FBS kicker.

Szmyt is one of 30 preseason candidates for the Groza Award. The 20 semifinalists will be unveiled on Nov. 7 and three finalists are set to be named on Nov. 26. The winner will be announced live during The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 12 on ESPN.

The Orange, which is coming off its first 10-win campaign since 2001, will open the season with a nonconference road game at 6 p.m. on Aug. 31 at Liberty.

n SU redshirt senior punter Sterling Hofrichter was named to the Ray Guy Award Watch List, which is presented annually to the nation’s top punter.

Hofrichter — one of 26 initial candidates unveiled on Wednesday — enters the season ranked third on the SU career list with an average of 42.9 yards per punt, and helped the Orange lead the Atlantic Coast Conference in net punting average (39.1) for the second straight season last year.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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