ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia sophomore place-kicker Marshall Morgan has been named one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award, according to an announcement from the Palm Beach County Sports Commission on Monday.
Morgan is the only player from the Southeastern Conference on the list and one of six kickers who are either freshmen or sophomores in this year’s semifinalists group.
FBS head coaches and SIDs, past Groza finalists and national and regional football writers will vote to select the three finalists. These finalists will be announced on November 25 and honored at the 22nd annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Awards Banquet on December 10 in West Palm Beach, Fla. The winner will be announced live on ESPN at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on December 12.
A 6-3, 200-pound native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Morgan is the SEC leader in scoring average at 10.2 points/game, which is 12th nationally, and leads the nation at 2.2 field goals/game. He is 13-for-15 (one of those misses coming from 52 yards) on field goal attempts this year, including a career-long 56-yarder that is tied for the nation’s longest in 2013. In fact, no other kicker in the nation has two of the longest top-10 kicks this year when his 55-yarder is taken into account.
His 56-yarder on Georgia’s first possession against Tennessee helped earn him SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for the second consecutive week. This was his longest kick since drilling a 55-yarder in the win over #6 LSU this year. It is the longest field goal for the Bulldogs since Blair Walsh kicked a 56-yarder versus Buffalo in 2011 and the longest on the road in school history. Morgan then won the UT game with a 42-yarder in overtime. It marked the first game-winner by a Bulldog since 2009 (Walsh, 37 yds., Arizona State).
Morgan scored a career-high 14 points, including his 55-yarder, in the win over #6 LSU as he connected on three field goals and five PATs. He got his first career SEC weekly honor following this performance. Morgan is one of four Bulldogs to make field goals of 55 yards or longer twice in a season. He is 4-for-7 in his career from 50 yards or longer.
Most recently, Morgan was a perfect 3-for-3 on field goals, including a 49-yarder, and hit both of his PATs during the 23-20 win over Florida. For the year, Morgan is 22-for-22 on PATs.
A Georgia player has never won the Groza Award. However, Walsh, a current Minnesota Viking, was one of three finalists in 2009.
The Bulldogs (5-3, 4-2 SEC) host Appalachian State (2-7, 2-4 SoCon) at Sanford Stadium on Nov. 9 at 12:30 p.m. WSB will televise the first-ever matchup between the two teams.