Groza Award watch list includes four from Big Ten

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

We don't forget about the specialists on the Big Ten blog -- special teams rankings coming soon, by the way -- and the league has a nice presence on the Lou Groza Award preseason watch list. Four Big Ten kickers made the list, led by Michigan State's Brett Swenson and Wisconsin's Phillip Welch.

The Big Ten candidates are:

  • Brett Swenson, Michigan State

  • Aaron Pettrey, Ohio State

  • Phillip Welch, Wisconsin

  • Carson Wiggs, Purdue

As a freshman, Welch led the Big Ten in field goals and percentage made (1.7 per game, 85 percent) and ranked second in kick scoring (8.1 ppg). Swenson connected on 22 of 28 field-goal attempts and was perfect on extra-point tries (34-for-34).

Pettrey handled the longer field-goal attempts for Ohio State last fall and connected on seven of eight attempts, six of which came from beyond 40 yards. Wiggs replaced Chris Summers as Purdue's top kicker last fall and converted 8 of 11 attempts. He was a perfect 6-for-6 from inside 40 yards.