In a season full of fun narratives for the Syracuse Orange football team, it can be tough to keep track of the best ones.
Still, one of the top storylines from this highly entertaining year has been the emergence of redshirt freshman kicker Andre Szmyt. The one-time walk-on earned a scholarship earlier this season, and after hitting 28 of this first 31 field goal attempts (and all 51-of-51 PATs), he’s been named a Lou Groza Award finalist.
Szmyt is joined by Wyoming’s Cooper Rothe and LSU’s Cole Tracy in the final three. The former’s hit 15-of-16 attempts including a 51-yarder, while Tracy’s nailed 22-of-25. Szmyt’s totals obviously exceed those and he’s also broken a bunch of records in the process (with another big one — the FBS record for field goals — also within reach). So one would “think” he’s the pick here...
But you know, these votes are weird sometimes. Also, one of those votes belongs to fans. Tracy’s leading that charge so far by a lot since LSU has a very large fan base. But perhaps Syracuse fans can help Szmyt get back in this?
Since the Ray Guy Award never wants to lavish praise on the nation’s best punter, Sterling Hofrichter, why not win this award and continue to cement our place as Special Teams University this year? Winning the fan vote doesn’t override the entire process, but it could speak some volumes for those judges on the fence.
Also, think of the Szmyt jokes we can make if we win. And the fun of having a freshman former walk-on potentially be an All-American. If we’re not going to get to the Peach Bowl, it’s only fair we get this, right?