Pollard (Smryna, Tenn.) is coming off an outstanding 2011 season that saw him break the Mocs' freshman scoring record with 61 points. He connected on 31-of-33 PATs and was 10-of-14 on field goals, earning Southern Conference All-Freshman honors.
Pollard showed a tremendous amount of improvement throughout the season, hitting all nine of his field goal attempts from inside 30 yards. He made his last eight field goals overall and has connected on 14-straight PATs.
The Award is named for Fred Mitchell, the record-setting place-kicker, 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.
Pollard is an excellent student who was on the Academic All-SoCon team, made the SoCon Honor Roll and earned the SoCon Commissioner's Medal for having a 3.5+ g.p.a. as a Criminal Justice major. He was also heavily involved in the Mocs' many community service projects, including recruiting and registering individuals for the Get in the Game, Save a Life bone marrow registry.
The Award's Watch List is released in August, top performers are recognized monthly during the college football season, and the winner (who is not required to be on the Watch List) 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 2013 at the National Football Foundation Chicago Metro Chapter Awards Ceremony at Halas Hall.
A blue-ribbon Selection Committee (listed at www.fredmitchellaward.com) evaluates place-kickers that are nominated by their schools. Members of the Pro and/or College Football Hall of Fame on the Selection Committee include Tom Beck, Kevin Butler, Paul Hornung, Marv Levy, Steve McMichael, Don Pierson and Gale Sayers.
Former football players and others that are active in their communities are also on the Selection Committee including Carl Allegretti, Sean Gothier, Teddy Greenstein, Michael Husted, Dan Jiggetts, Rick Kolaczewski, Connie Kowal, Greg Loberg, Tom Lynch, Carol Monroe, Jeff Michalczyk, Mark Murphy, Rob Perry, Jeff Schebler, Caroline Schrenker, Jay Sebben, Bob Thomas, Wolfe Tone, Todd Wilkins, Gary Zauner and Rob Zvonar.
There are 10 former college or NFL place-kickers on the Selection Committee, including Schebler (the inaugural Fred Mitchell Award recipient in 2009 and the highest-scoring place-kicker in NCAA history at any level) and Lynch (two-time recipient of the Award and the kicker on the 2011 NAIA National Champion Saint Xavier University Cougars).
"These place-kickers are terrific on the football field and off the field representing their schools, their football teams, their conferences, their communities, their families and themselves," stated selection committee chairman Chris Kearney. "We look forward to following their accomplishments during the next few months."
The Watch List includes place-kickers from more than 750 eligible colleges. Fred Mitchell said, "It is a pleasure to include these fine young men on the Watch List for this Award. We are delighted to recognize them based on outstanding performance in the community and expectations going into the 2012 college football season."