Ross Martin: Man Apart on the Groza Watch List


There is only one guy on the Lou Groza Award Watch List from the state of North Carolina. That is senior Duke kicker Ross Martin. Martin is not just any kicker. Martin is the all time leading scorer at Duke, the guy who has put the most points on the scoreboard. Martin has scored around a hundred points a year for the past three years. His time has Duke’s kicker has coincided with the high times of the Coach David Cutcliffe era. There have been more extra point possibilities than in recent Duke history.

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Last year Martin was almost perfect as a kicker. He was a 90% accuracy for all kicks. From inside 40 yards he was perfect. He only missed one kick within 50 yards. The other missed kick was beyond fifty. That is the kind of consistency that you look for in a kicker. If Martin can replicate his success then he should definitely be in the running for the Groza.

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It is worth noting the absence of other kickers from the North Carolina schools. NC State is replacing graduated kick Nick Sade. North Carolina is between kickers at the moment and will be debuting a new one this fall. That would be redshirt freshman Freeman Jones. Tar Heel fans will most likely be optimistic about Jones since last year’s placekicking tandem of Thomas Moore and Nick Weiler was a disaster.

To win the Groza, a kicker sometimes needs a couple of good signature kicks to win over voters. Kickers on good teams may not get the opportunity to score those long kicks. Kickers on good teams also will not get the volume of kicks needed to win. Hopefully Martin can ake some magic with the opportunities that he is given.

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