SDS talent evaluators Jon Cooper and Brad Crawford spent several months breaking down last year’s highlights, incoming talent and projected 2014 impact following spring practice to compile a list of the SEC’s Top 100 players heading into fall. Athletes were selected by position then ranked overall counting down to No. 1.
Stick with SDS throughout summer and get in on the action using the hashtag #SDSTop100 as we unveil a new player daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.
84. Marshall Morgan, Jr., K, Georgia
There are starting kickers at the collegiate level who routinely miss 45-yarders and then there’s clutch special teams stars like Morgan, Georgia’s X-Factor and likely leading scorer this season. The Bulldogs’ replacement for SEC all-time leading scorer Blair Walsh has established himself as the SEC’s most accurate and one of college football’s elite in the kicking game.
Morgan’s coming off the best campaign for a kicker in program history with 22 field goals in 24 tries including a game-winner against Tennessee in overtime and an important 38-yard boot during the fourth quarter of his team’s shootout victory over LSU. By December, Morgan was the only kicker in the FBS ranks to nail two kicks of 55 yards or more and was a perfect 5-for-5 on tries in the 40-49 yard range.
Even more impressive was the fact that Morgan’s lofty numbers came over an 11-game span — two fewer than other kickers in bowl games — after he missed Georgia’s first two contests following a boating under the influence arrest. The last time out, Morgan made a personal-best four field goals during his team’s Gator Bowl loss to Nebraska.
It should be noted that field-flipper Texas A&M junior punter Drew Kaser’s just as ‘special’ a special-teamer and is a front-runner for the Ray Guy award this fall. Morgan, sans anymore suspensions, will be a Lou Groza finalist at season’s end.
2013 statistics: SEC-leader in field goals made (22); Set school-record with 17 straight.
2014 projection: 23 field goals, All-SEC First Team
Photo Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports