By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - Maikon Bonani is in the national spotlight for the second straight preseason.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission announced Wednesday that USF's all-time career leader in field goals was one of 30 players named to the Lou Groza College Place-Kicker Award Watch List for the second straight year.
Bonani went 19-for-26 last season, including a trio of three field goal games, and the former Lake Wales High School star finished off the year strong by making every one of his final seven attempts. The fifth-year senior finished second in the Big East with 99 points and has been named a preseason All-Big East first-team selection for the second consecutive year.
"I'm really excited to have a guy with that experience and that mindset coming into the season," USF head coach Skip Holtz said. "I couldn't be more excited about Bonani and his development."
Bonani's 51 career field goals have far surpassed USF's previous top school mark of 38 that was set by Santiago Gramatica (2001-04). Bonani earned his initial spot on the Lou Groza Watch List in 2011 after setting a new school record for field goal percentage (80.9) after making 17 of 21 attempts as a sophomore in 2010.
A total of 20 Lou Groza semifinalists will be announced Monday, Nov. 5 and a panel of 300 experts will get the list down to three finalists before the announcement on Monday, Nov. 19. The award winner will be recognized during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Award Show that will be broadcast live nationally from Orlando on Thursday, Dec. 6.
The prestigious award is named after Lou "The Toe" Groza, who played 21 NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns as an offensive lineman and a kicker before being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
For more information regarding the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award and to follow the season progress, please go to www.lougrozaaward.com.