On Thursday sophomore kicker Clayton Hatfield was named to the Lou Groza Award watch list. The award is given each year to the best kicker in college football. Last year's winner was UCLA's Ka'imi Fairbairn. This marks the third Red Raider to be named to a watch list along with Patrick Mahomes and Tony Morales.
Hatfield stepped up big his freshman year. He finished the season 53 out of 54 on extra point attempts and 14 out of 16 on field goal attempts. He also ranked seventh in the NCAA in field goal percentage at 87.5% and lead the Big 12 in that category as well. Hatfield is one of only ten kickers returning for this upcoming season who made at least 85% of their field goals last year. He is also the only kicker in the Big 12 to make the list and one of four sophomores on the list.
Hatfield's best game in 2015 was also in arguably Tech's biggest win against Texas. He set a new season-high for points scored in a game (combining PATs and FGs) with 12. He also made a career-long 51 yard field goal to help Tech come away with their first win against Texas since 2008.
Hatfield picked up a few post season honors last year as well. He was named an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and earned second team honors by the San Antonio Express-News. He also made the ESPN All-Big 12 Underclassmen team.
Hatfield was a vital member of this team last season and his recognition on this list proves it. The winner will be announced during the Home Depot College Football Awards in December. Congrats on making the list Clayton and good luck your sophomore season.