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Campbell a kicker to watch in 2021

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Redshirt junior named to Lou Groza Award watch list on Wednesday

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 31 Indiana at Rutgers
ndiana Hoosiers place kicker Charles Campbell (93) during the second quarter of the College Football Game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Indiana Hoosiers on October 31, 2020 at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, NJ.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon College Football

Charles Campbell kicked his way onto the Lou Groza Award radar last season. This fall, he could just win the whole dang thing.

On Wednesday, the Indiana specialist was named to the preseason watch list for the Groza Award, which goes to the nation’s top placekicker. An All-Big Ten second team honoree last season, Campbell connected on 10 of his 11 field goal attempts and converted all 25 of his extra-point tries. After nailing three field goals of 42, 28, and 31 yards in IU’s Week 2 win over Rutgers, Campbell was named the Lou Groza Award Star of the Week. And in the weeks to come, Campbell, one of 30 kickers highlighted on the preseason watch list, will have his sights set on the larger prize.

Given the poise and leg strength Campbell demonstrated last season, one would think he’ll be a serious contender. According to Pro Football Focus, Campbell was the 10th-highest graded kicker in the nation in 2020 after he made all three of his attempts between 30-to-39 yards, two of his three attempts between 40-to-49 yards and each of his three kicks from 50-plus yards. In the Outback Bowl, he became just the second Hoosier ever to drill two 50-yard kicks in a single game when he connected from 50 and 53 yards against Ole Miss. The 53-yarder set an IU postseason and Outback Bowl record.

With Campbell’s inclusion on the Groza Award honor roll, here’s the full rundown of IU’s preseason watch list selections:

Lou Groza Award: Charles Campbell

Outland Trophy: Matthew Bedford

Nagurski Trophy: Micah McFadden, Tiawan Mullen

Jim Thorpe Award: Tiawan Mullen

Butkus Award: Micah McFadden

Mackey Award: Peyton Hendershot

Biletnikoff Award: Ty Fryfogle

B1G Preseason Honors: Michael Penix Jr.

Doak Walker Award: Stephen Carr

Davey O’Brien Award: Michael Penix Jr.

Bednarik Award: Micah McFadden, Tiawan Mullen

Maxwell Award: Ty Fryfogle, Michael Penix Jr.

Dodd Trophy: Tom Allen