Santiago Gramatica, USF’s sophomore placekicker, was names a finalist for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award.

The list of 20 finalists will be narrowed to one when the winner is announced during a ceremony at the Sheraton West Palm Beach Hotel at CityPlace in West Palm Beach Dec. 10.

Gramatica has connected on 13 field goals this season with a 76.5 percentage. His longest of the season is 41 yards.

The majority of Gramatica’s kicks have come from 30 to 39 yards, where he has made six of eight.

“I give Santiago all the credit,” USF coach Jim Leavitt said. “He has battled through a lot of adversity and done a real nice job.”

In 1997, Santiago’s older brother, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ placekicker Martin Gramatica, won the award while at Kansas State.

If Santiago wins the award, he will join Martin as the only brother combination to win the Lou Groza award.

Mitchell near top

Middle linebacker Kawika Mitchell still remains a national force, even though he wasn’t selected as one of 11 Butkus Award finalists.

Mitchell ranks fifth in the nation in tackles for loss with two per game. Mitchell has eight solo and 16 assists for tackles for loss.

Bryan Fazio