UC Davis junior Brady Stuart is among 36 players from various collegiate football levels to be named to the watch list for the Fred Mitchell Award, given to the most outstanding placekicker for excellence on the field and in the community.
Stuart, from Newhall, earned All-Big Sky third-team honors last year after making a school-record 17 field goals and was named earlier this month to the preseason All-Big Sky team. In addition, he was named to the College Football Performance Award Watch List for kickers.
The Fred Mitchell Award is in its sixth season honoring kickers from the NCAA Division I FCS, Division II, Division III, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and National Junior College Athletic Association levels. Players were nominated to the watch list by their colleges.
“These placekickers are impressive on the football field and off the field representing their schools, their football teams, their conferences, their communities, their families and themselves,” said Chris Kearney, the selection committee chairman. “We look forward to following their accomplishments during the next few months. Of the 36 kickers, 21 led their team in scoring last season and 12 finished second on their team in scoring so there is a lot of scoring power returning this season.”
Stuart is among seven FCS kickers — and the only one from the Big Sky — nominated while there are 12 from Divisions II and III, three from the NAIA and two from the NJCAA.
Stuart enjoyed an impressive sophomore season for the Aggies in 2013, leading the team in scoring with 75 points, while making 10 consecutive field goals during the final four games of the season. His 17 field goals set a single-season school record and he needs just 16 to set the career mark. He currently has 32.
He was twice named the Big Sky Special Teams Player of the Week and was 24 of 25 in extra points.
Besides his on-field success, Stuart also has been active in the community. He helped conduct a clinic for Special Olympians with his teammates and annually visits Shriners Hospital for Children in Sacramento with the Aggies during the preseason.
Additionally, he’s served as a church usher and as a volunteer at an elementary school in Santa Clarita where he helped coordinate classroom and athletics group activities for underprivileged children. Stuart also conceived and helped coordinate a video honoring players’ moms for Mother’s Day this past spring which was featured on the UCD athletics website.
Stuart and the rest of the UCD football team will begin preparations for the upcoming season on Monday. The opener is at Stanford on Aug. 30.
The award winner will be announced in mid-December by a committee that includes Pro and College Football Hall of Fame members Tom Beck, Kevin Butler, Paul Hornung, Marv Levy, Steve McMichael and Don Pierson. Other former players and honorees are also part of the selection committee.
The award is named for Fred Mitchell, who was a record-setting kicker at Wittenburg University where he is enshrined in its Hall of Fame. He later became a sports columnist for the Chicago Tribune and is an author and philanthropist.