A 2019 Lou Groza Award semifinalist, Arkansas State junior kicker Blake Grupe was announced Wednesday by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission as one of 30 FBS players on the prestigious award’s watch list for the 2020 season.
Grupe is one of four all-time A-State players to appear on the place-kicking award’s watch list, along with Brian Davis (2012 and 2013), Josh Arauco (2008 and 2009) and Jeff Caldwell (1994). All four players were semifinalists at least one year during their career, while Arauco was a finalist in 2008.
Grupe was named 2019 First Team All-Sun Belt Conference after setting the school record for single-season points by kicking with 110, which were the second most in the league and ranked 13th in the nation as well. His points total also ranked as the second most scored in A-State history by any player, regardless of position.
Additionally, Grupe ranked second in the Sun Belt in points per game among all players, and his 8.5 average was the 26th highest in the country. He made 19-of-22 field goals for an .864 percentage that led the conference and ranked 16th in the FBS.
The two-time Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week will enter his junior campaign with 187 career points by kicking that are the fifth most in school history. Grupe has also has made 88 career extra points and 33 career field goals for the fifth and sixth most, respectively, in school history.
The Sedalia, Mo., native has been named 2020 Preseason First Team All-Sun Belt Conference by multiple publications as well, including Athlon Sports, Phil Steele’s and College Football News.
Grupe earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration in the spring of 2020 and is currently pursuing his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in healthcare administration.
Twenty Lou Groza Award semifinalists will be announced Thursday, Nov. 5. A panel of more than 100 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists and current NFL kickers will select the top three finalists, which will be named on Tuesday, Nov. 24. The same group will select the national winner, who will be revealed Thursday, Dec. 10, during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN.
The Lou Groza Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935.