Lincoln has been the SEC's top field goal specialist and is becoming a challenger for national honors as well. The Ocala, Fla., native has made 16-of-18 (.889) field goal attempts this season and all 37 PATs to stand third in the league with 85 points and first in field-goal percentage.
In addition, Lincoln needs only one field goal to tie the school freshman record of 17 set by James Wilhoit and already ranks tied for 10th on UT's season field goal list.
This year's award appears completely up for grabs as 13 of the 20 semifinalists, Lincoln included, were not on the Groza preseason watch list.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission established the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award in 1992. The award is named in honor of Lou Groza, who was a long-time star of the Cleveland Browns and is regarded as the first kicker to be truly considered an offensive weapon. Groza played 21 seasons for the Browns and led the NFL in field goals five times. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974.
LINCOLN, ROGERS GET ACADEMIC HONORS
Lincoln and sophomore wide receiver Austin Rogers were named Thursday to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV Team.
Both players now earn spots on the Academic All-America ballot.
Rogers was one of two receivers selected for first-team honors thanks to his 3.35 grade-point average in finance and his play as the Vols' second leading pass-catcher this season. The Nashville native and former member of the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll has 35 receptions this year for 428 yards and a touchdown. He was named to Tennessee's 2006 Thornton Center 40-Plus Club after completing at least 40 credit hours during the academic year.
Lincoln was the first-team pick at placekicker. An Ocala, Fla., product, Lincoln has been the SEC's best all-around kicker with 16 made field goals in 18 tries and a perfect 37-of-37 PATs. The business major, who owns a 3.53 GPA, is one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award. He needs only one field goal to tie the school freshman record of 17 set by James Wilhoit and already stands tied for 10th on UT's season field goal list.
The Academic All-District IV teams, selected by regional members of the College Sports Information Directors of America, comprise honorees from Division I bowl and championship subdivision teams in Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan. The voting period for Academic All-America begins Tuesday.