The announcement of the preseason watch lists begins a busy period of preseason honors as each of the major college football awards will release their respective watch lists by July 20.
“I am happy for the recognition that these four have received and it is well deserved,” UL head coach Mark Hudspeth said. “I think these four are as good as anyone in the country. All four made big plays that played a large part in our New Orleans Bowl win last year.”
Gautier, a 6-0, 212-pound senior, was named the LSWA Louisiana Offensive Player of the Year and a second team All-Sun Belt choice in 2011 after setting UL season records for yards passing (2,958), passing touchdowns (23), completion percentage (.628), passing efficiency (153.6), total offense (3,444) and touchdowns responsible for (26).
Gautier led the Sun Belt and ranked 14th nationally in passing efficiency (153.6). He closed his junior year by setting a school single game record with 492 yards of total offense in the New Orleans Bowl win over San Diego State.
Lawson, a 6-1, 183-pound senior, was named first team All-Sun Belt and was a second team All-Louisiana by the LSWA as a junior after ranking second in the league (and 32nd nationally) in receiving yards (1,092) and touchdowns (8), fifth in receptions (63) and eighth in all-purpose yards (1,359).
Lawson grabbed 63 passes for 1,092 yards and eight TDs to post just the fifth 1,000-yard receiving season in schol, history. He capped off the campaign with nine catches for 193 yards and two TDs vs. San Diego State.
Surgent, a 6-0, 195-pound senior, led the Sun Belt and ranked 13th nationally in punt return average, bringing back 27 punts for 323 yards and a 12.0 average, including an 87-yard effort for a touchdown vs. the Aztecs. He was also fourth on the team with 28 catches for 518 yards and six touchdowns.
Baer, a 5-11, 182-pound senior, was a semi-finalist for the Lou Groza Award after going 18-for-20 in field goal attempts and 46-for-50 on PAT efforts in 2011. He earned second team All-Sun Belt honors as both a kicker and punter and second team All-Louisiana by the LSWA while being tabbed the team’s special teams MVP.
Baer, who led the nation in field goal accuracy in 2011, owns a career field goal percentage of .926 (25-27) and would rank among all-time NCAA leaders but is short of the required minimum of 45 attempts (record is 43-49, .878 by Bobby Raymond, Florida, 1983-84).
College Football Performance Awards boasts beeing the official website of college football’s most scientifically rigourous conferments. They select all recipients based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. Last season, nine CFPA awards recipients were first-round NFL Draft selections.
The CFPA will announce its award winners on Jan. 9, 2013.