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Blog: Kicker Morgan rides `positive’ vibes from teammates to Groza semifinalist

Marshall Morgan’s super sophomore season for Georgia was recognized Monday when he was named one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award for nation’s top placekicker.

Morgan was shaky as a freshman, but since returning from a two-game suspension for a boating under the influence charge to start the season, he’s 13 of 15 on field goals and has made all 22 extra points attempted.

“Of course, I believed in myself, but now that’s it’s actually happening, it’s a lot better feeling,” Morgan said.

Morgan said he can feel the confidence of his teammates now.

“They’ve seen how I was kicking this whole summer,” Morgan said. “I feel like they wanted me out there. It just made me feel really good having guys talking positive stuff in my ear and not guys on the team talking negative like a few last year maybe.”

He said there were a few remarks “not meant to hurt you, but it sticks on. Now you look back and put it in your face kind of.”

Morgan leads the nation in field goals per game at 2.2 and is tied for the longest field goal in the FBS this season from 56. He has two of the five longest, with another from 55.

Morgan, from Coral Springs, Fla, is the only kicker from the SEC on the list.

On top of that, Morgan was selected SEC special teams player of the week Monday for the third time this season.

He was 3 of 3 against Florida on field goals Saturday, including a long of 49.

Murray also was named Monday as one of 16 semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien Award for nation’s top quarterback. He’s one of five in the SEC, including LSU’s Zach Mettenberger, the former Bulldog and Oconee County High product.

The three finalists for both the Groza and O’Brien Awards will be announced on Nov. 25.

Georgia senior Garrison Smith also was named Monday as SEC defensive lineman of the week. He had a career-high nine tackles, including 2 ¬Ω sacks against the Gators.

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