Sunday, December 11, 2022

NC State's Dunn Named Top Kicker in the Nation

RALEIGH – NC State's Christopher Dunn was named the winner of the 2022 Lou Groza Place-Kicker Award on Thursday night during The Home Depot College Football Awards show on ESPN.

Dunn, a former All-Gridiron player who set new ACC records in points scored (479) and field goals (93) in 2022, leads the ACC and ranks second nationally in field goal percentage (.960). He also tops the league in kick scoring and field goals and tied for the national lead in field goals per game.

The Lexington native becomes the third national award winner under NC State football head coach Dave Doeren, joining Bradley Chubb (Nagurski & Hendricks Award, 2017) and Garrett Bradbury (Rimington Trophy, 2018). He is the second Groza Award winner in NC State football history joining Marc Primanti (1996).

"I'm so proud of Chris for all of his accomplishments and am so happy that he was recognized nationally with the Groza Award," Doeren said. "Nobody has worked harder than he has.

"He's overcome a lot of obstacles – on and off the field – but his dedication, persistence, and faith have helped him become the remarkable person and kicker that he is today. I can't wait to see what the future holds for him."

Dunn was also named a CBS Sports and The Athletic All-American earlier on Thursday. He's the first NC State kicker to earn All-America accolades in 26 years, as Primanti earned the honor the same year he won the Groza, 1996.

In 2022, Dunn twice earned ACC Specialist of the Week honors and Lou Groza Star of the Week accolades. He claimed both honors in the same week after he tied a career-high with four made field goals in NC State's 19-17 win over Florida State, scoring 13 of the Pack's 19 points. He also tied a career-long with a 53-yarder in the victory over the Seminoles.

Of Dunn's 24 makes on the season, 10 of them came from 40 yards or longer. He went a perfect 7-for-7 from 20-29 yards, 7-for-7 from 30-39 yards, and 2-for-2 on kicks over 50 yards. He also went 8-for-9 from 40-49 yards, missing just one kick the entire season – in the regular season finalé. He is a perfect 200-for-200 on PAT attempts in his Wolfpack career.

In 1992, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission established the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award to honor the nation's top collegiate place-kicker. The winner is determined by a voting panel of Division I head coaches, sportswriters, sportscasters, conference representatives, professional kickers, and previous winners.

The award is named in honor of Lou Groza, a nine-time all-pro and winner of eight championships, four in the AAFC and four in the NFL. Groza, one of the greatest kickers in football history, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974.