LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech senior Clayton Hatfield was named one of 20 semifinalists Thursday for the Lou Groza Award, which is presented annually to the top place kicker in college football.
Hatfield is the lone Big 12 kicker on the semifinalist list, which includes 2017 winner Matt Gay from Utah. It is the first time in his career where he has been named a semifinalist for the prestigious award.
After missing the majority of the 2017 season due to injury, Hatfield has come back to connect on 10-of-11 field goals as he leads the Big 12 and ranks eighth nationally in field goal percentage (90.9). He’s a perfect 3-of-3 on attempts from 40 yards or longer this season as his lone miss came on a 37-yarder at Oklahoma State to open Big 12 play.
Hatfield enters this Saturday’s primetime tilt with Oklahoma having successfully made each of his last six attempts. He has been accurate throughout his career as he ranks fifth nationally among active field goal kickers with at least 25 career attempts with a .843 career percentage.
The Bourne, Texas native has already placed his name in Tech lore as he ranks tied for third all-time with Bill Adams (1977-79) with 43 career field goals. He needs seven field goals over the remaining four regular-season games to match Ryan Bustin (2012-14) for the career mark among kickers.
In addition, Hatfield is second in the school record book with 184 career PATs and third on the career scoring list with 313 points. He trails only Taurean Henderson (414 points from 2002-05) and Alex Trilica (377 points from 2004-07) in scoring among Red Raiders.
Semifinalists will be voted on by a panel of more than 100 FBS head coaches, sports information directors, media members, former Groza finalists and current NFL kickers to select the three finalists. The committee will announce its three finalists Nov. 20 with the winner being named Dec. 6 during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN.
Hatfield and the Red Raiders return to the friendly confines of Jones AT&T Stadium to host No. 7 Oklahoma in a 7 p.m. prime time kick Saturday night. Coverage will be provided on ABC and the Texas Tech Sports Network.