North Dakota State kicker Adam Keller was named to the 2014 College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) watch list announced Monday, July 7.
The initial watch list includes 36 returning players, vying for the top placekicker award in the Football Championship Subdivision. All players are eligible for awards at their respective positions; players are not preemptively eliminated from consideration.
Keller, a senior from Lewisberry, Pa., set school records for PAT kicks made (76) and attempted (78) for the second straight season. Keller converted 9 of 12 field goals including a season-long 48-yarder in the FCS quarterfinal victory over Coastal Carolina. He led the Bison in scoring with 103 points.
Keller joins tight end Kevin Vaadeland, wide receiver Zach Vraa, running back John Crockett, free safety Christian Dudzik, strong safety Colten Heagle, defensive end Kyle Emanuel and linebacker Carlton Littlejohn on the 2014 CFPA Watch List. Two former NDSU stars have earned CFPA honors: John Prelvitz (CFPA Punter Award) and Marcus Williams (CFPA Defensive Back Award). The goal of College Football Performance Awards is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. Twenty-eight CFPA winners have been first-round NFL Draft selections. CFPA is in its seventh year of recognition, utilizing player and team performance rankings, broken down by offense, defense, and special teams. Last season, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston earned the CFPA National Performer of the Year Trophy for the FBS, while Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams earned the CFPA FCS National Performer of the Year Trophy. CFPA Trophy winner and former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was the first overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. The full list of 2014 CFPA winners will be announced January 14, 2015.
CFPA Placekicker Watch List Nik Grau, Abilene Christian Eddie Camara, Central Arkansas Alex Catron, Coastal Carolina William Will, Dayton Benjamin Tesson, Drake Austin Crimmins, Duquesne Andrew Lloyd, Eastern Kentucky John Gallagher, Elon Chase Varnadore, Florida A&M Michael Marando, Fordham Anthony Prevost, Hampton Nick Aussieker, Illinois State Ryan Deising, Jackson State Ryan Gralish, Lafayette Alex Ball, Lamar John Lunsford, Liberty Sean Decloux, Maine Tyler Zielenske, Mercer Ben Worst, Montana Adam Keller, North Dakota State Nolan Bieck, Princeton Chris Rogers, Sacred Heart Lance Geesey, Saint Francis (Pa.) Luc Swimberghe, Sam Houston State Warren Handrahan, Samford David Last, San Diego Justin Syrovatka, South Dakota State Thomas Kinney, Southern Illinois Jordan Wiggs, Stephen F. Austin Eric Medina, Texas Southern Brady Stuart, UC Davis Jackson Redditt, UT Martin Dillon Christopher, VMI Richard Sigmon, Western Carolina John Carpenter, William & Mary Kyle Cazzetta, Yale