Blue Raider kicker Rooker named to Groza Award watch-list

Cannon Rooker attempts a field goal during a game against Western Kentucky on October 15, 2016. (MTSU Sidelines/Sarah Grace Taylor)

Photo by Sarah Grace Taylor / Sidelines Archives

Middle Tennessee senior kicker Canon Rooker was named to the Lou Groza Award watch-list Wednesday afternoon.

The Lou Groza Award is presented annually to the nation’s top kicker by the Orange Bowl committee. The award was named after former NFL All-Pro kicker and offensive lineman Lou Groza. This year’s award will be given at an awards banquet in Palm Beach, Florida on December 4. The student athletes are nominated by coaches, sports information directors, former award winners and current NFL kickers.

Rooker is one of 30 players that have been selected to the preseason watch-list.

In 2016, the first-team all-conference player set a school record for kickers by scoring 112 points. Rooker also connected on 16 field goals in 19 attempts, good enough for rank fourth in MTSU history. His longest kick of the season went for 46 yards in the season opener against Alabama A&M.

He also converted on 64 of his 66 PAT’s last season.

In his career, the Georgia native has three years of experience handling kickoffs, booting 67 touchbacks in his career.

For Rooker, this nomination is one that has been earned after winning the place-kicking battle in last year’s training camp.

“I am honored to be mentioned along with some of the nation’s top kickers,” Rooker said in an interview with Middle Tennessee Athletics. “Competition for the place-kicking position was pretty strong in the preseason, and I believe that helped me. I was pleased that I was able to make some big kicks and help the team. We have put in a hard work in the offseason, and we want to see that carry over into the 2017 season.”

Follow MTSU sports reporter Anthony Fiorella on Twitter at @A_Fiorella74 for more coverage.

To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis, email

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