Brent Cimaglia emerged as one of the top kickers in college football last season. Because of that stellar junior campaign, Tennessee’s starting placekicker is already garnering a lot of attention before the 2020 season.
Not only has Cimaglia been selected a preseason First Team All-SEC kicker by Athlon Sports, but he was named to the Lou Groza Award watch list on Wednesday. The Lou Groza Award is given annually to the top placekicker in college football.
Last year, Cimaglia finished the 2019 season as a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, marking the first time since 2007 that a Vol kicker had been named a semifinalist for the award.
“A 2019 Groza semifinalist, Cimaglia kicked more field goals in one season than any Tennessee kicker in over 30 years,” the release said of Cimaglia’s inclusion. “His 17 makes from at least 30 yards out rank third among returning FBS kickers. He went 3-for-3 on field goals in three games, including both the season opener and the Gator Bowl, and topped those with a 4-for-4 performance against BYU.”
The Lou Groza Award panel will announce its 20 semifinalists on Thursday, November 5th. From this list, a panel of more than 100 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists, and current NFL kickers select the top three finalists for the award, announced on Tuesday, November 24th. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, December 10th.
The Nashville, TN native enters his senior year at Tennessee on the cusp of putting his name all over UT’s record books. After being named a Second Team All-SEC kicker in 2019, Cimaglia looks to end his Tennessee career with another phenomenal campaign. Cimaglia made 23 of his 27 field goals last season, and his 85.2 percentage on field goals ranked second in the entire SEC. His 23 made field goals were the second-most in the conference, and that was also the third-most field goals made in a single season in UT history.
In his Tennessee career, Cimaglia has yet to miss a PAT, connecting on all 69 of his attempts. He’s made 41 of his 53 career field goal attempts, and his 77.4 percentage currently ranks second all-time in school history, just behind Alex Walls’ 77.9 percent (1999-2002). His 41 field goals made in his career place him eighth in school history, and he’s attempted the ninth-most field goals in program history.
No Vol has ever won the Lou Groza Award, but several Tennessee kickers have been named semifinalists. Jeff Hall (1995), James Wilhoit (2006), and Daniel Lincoln (2007) were all tabbed as semifinalists, and Alex Walls (2000) was a finalist for the award.