PHILADELPHIA - Senior Andrew Samson of the University of Pennsylvania football team was named to the Fred Mitchell Award Watch List on Wednesday. The award is presented to the nation’s top collegiate placekicker among more than 600 FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA football teams.
Samson is one of just 40 kickers nationwide to make the list. The Andover High School product is a two-time first-team All-Ivy honoree and was a third-team All-America selection by the Associated Press and The Sports Network in 2008, in addition to being named the 2008 ECAC Kicker of the Year. The West Bloomfield, Mich., native has never missed a point after attempt (74-for-74) and holds the school record for consecutive PAT's made. Samson is also the school record holder for field goals made in a season (16 in 2008) and set the Ivy season record for field goals made in league play (13 in 2008). He has led all Ivy kickers in scoring, field goals made and PAT percentage in each of the last two seasons.
A 2009 Preseason All-American, Samson has also excelled in the classroom. He has been recognized as a two-time Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area selection as well as a 2009 Academic All-Ivy honoree. In each of the last three seasons, Samson has participated in Penn Football's "Be the Match" bone marrow donor program.
“These placekickers are terrific on the football field and off the field representing their schools, their football teams, their conferences, their communities, their families and themselves," said the Award’s Selection Committee Chairman Chris Kearney. "We look forward to following their accomplishments during the next few months.”
The Award is named for Fred Mitchell, the record-setting placekicker, Wittenberg University Athletic Hall of Famer, author, philanthropist and Chicago Tribune sports columnist. The recipient of the Fred Mitchell Award will be chosen based on excellence on the football field and in the community. The Award’s Watch List is released in August, top performers are recognized monthly during the college football season, and the winner is announced in mid-December. The school of the Award winner receives scholarship funds and the Fred Mitchell Award trophy will be presented in February at the National Football Foundation Chicago Metro Chapter Awards Ceremony at Halas Hall.
A blue-ribbon Selection Committee evaluates placekickers that are nominated by their schools. There are nine members of the Pro and/or College Football Hall of Fame on the Selection Committee including Tom Beck, George Blanda, Kevin Butler, Lou Holtz, Paul Hornung, Marv Levy, Steve McMichael, Don Pierson and Gale Sayers. Several former football players that are active in their communities are also on the Selection Committee. There are nine former college or NFL placekickers on the Selection Committee, including Jeff Schebler, the 2009 Fred Mitchell Award recipient and the highest-scoring place-kicker in NCAA history at any level.
Samson and the rest of the Quakers will run out of the Franklin Field tunnel for the first time on Sept. 18 as they open the season against Lafayette at 7p.m.