With little in the way of national football award attention this year for the Texas Longhorns, Anthony Fera has stood head and shoulders above all others. Without both his outstanding field goal and punting consistency there arguably are more than a few games during the winning streak that may have gone the other way.
Fera has been nominated as one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award. He joins Robert Aguayo of Florida State, who has the third most points of any FBS collegiate player season to date, and Marvin Kloss of South Florida.
Head coach Mack Brown said, "[Fera] has been a critical part of our success this season not only as one of the steadiest and most reliable field goal kickers in the nation but also as a punter. He's come up huge for us on special teams all season long."
Fera, a senior from Cypress, Texas, is putting together the best season in Longhorns history. Having made 17 of his 18 field goals, Fera’s conversion rate of 94.4% would go down as the most accurate in the 121 years of Texas football. The mark stands as the third-highest in the nation and the best among kickers with 18 attempts and a 50 yard conversion. After missing his fifth attempt of the year, Fera has converted his last 13 field goals, the third-longest active streak in FBS. He is 38-of-39 on extra point conversions, with his only miss blocked.
This year, fans can have their part in naming the winner of the Lou Groza Award. Fans can visit www.lougrozaaward.com and cast a vote for their favorite of the three finalists selected by the national panel of voters. The finalist who receives the greatest total of fan votes will be given one vote on the final ballot. One vote can make a difference in the final outcome so fans are encouraged to participate. The three finalists will be honored at the 22nd Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Awards Banquet on Tuesday, December 10 at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The three Lou Groza Award finalists will be highlighted on ESPNU during The Home Depot College Football Awards Nomination Special airing Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 5:30 p.m. (ET). This year’s Lou Groza Award winner will be revealed on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards Show airing live from the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk at the Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 7:00 p.m. (ET).
Fera, a 2012 transfer from Penn State, did not have the breakout season many thought primarily due to a lingering hamstring injury. But he has more than acquitted last season's poor performance with a potential school record setting 2013 campaign for field goal accuracy.
With all the great field goal kicking talent that has graced the Forty Acres it is amazing that a Longhorn has never won the award.
Congratulations, Anthony, on your success.