UGA freshman Marshall Morgan getting a kick out of all the attention

GEORGIA FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK

ATHENS – Georgia freshman place-kicker Marshall Morgan made a rookie mistake after Thursday’s practice.

Rather than enter the interview area at Butts-Mehre Hertitage Hall in the company of one or more teammates, he came to the second floor alone. He also came up first, which meant he got the undivided attention of dozen or so reporters there to get first shot at first-year freshman interviews. To date, they’ve been off-limits to media.

But Morgan just smiled when he realized he was completely surrounded with the entire lot. “It’s pretty great,” Morgan said of all the attention. “I like it.”

Might as well get used to it. The kicking tradition at Georgia is one that bears some weight of responsibility as it is. Add the fact that the a highly-touted recruit out of Fort Lauderdale is having to take over  as a true freshman and it’s clear that a lot of eyes will be on Morgan this fall.

While Morgan hasn’t exactly lit up camp so far — he missed a 35-yard field goal attempt in Wednesday’s scrimmage — he seems cool and calm and at peace with whatever fate awaits him this year.

“I feel really comfortable with the team,” Morgan said.  “The snapper, the line, the whole operation is going really well. We still have a lot of room to improve these next three weeks, but I think we can do it.”

Georgia coach Mark Richt gave Morgan his endorsement on Thursday, but it wasn’t what one would describe as a ringing one.

“Right now, I would say that Marshall Morgan is our extra point/field goal guy,” he said without elaboration.

To be sure, Morgan said he knows the job is not being handed to him. But as a scholarshipped-signee and the No. 6-ranked place-kicker prospect nationally, he’s certainly the leader in the clubhouse.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy just coming in here to start,” Morgan said. “[Jamie] Lindley is a great kicker, and Adam Erickson and [punter] Collin Barber, they can also kick, too. It’s just one big competition. I’m not taking anything for granted and trying my hardest.

“I know I’ve got to be consistent. It’s SEC football. So I can’t mess up, pretty much.”

Freshmen on the record

First-year defensive players were also made available Thursday while offensive rookies will be available Friday. Among the newbies to meet the press on Thursday were defensive back Sheldon Dawson, and outside linebackers Josh Dawson, James DeLoach and Jordan Jenkins.

Jenkins shared the sentiments of his colleagues when he talked about being somewhat overwhelmed mentally and physically nine practices into the fall camp.

“The first day in full pads and the scrimmage kind of shocked me,” said Jenkins, a five-star prospect out of Harris County who was considered the state’s No. 1 recruit. “I wasn’t used to getting cut in SEC football or college football. So I realized pretty quickly I needed to learn to play the cut and learn to get my pad level down a little bit more. I need to learn to use my hands a little bit more. I’m still not where I want to be.”

Jenkins is currently working behind All-American Jarvis Jones at weakside outside linebacker. But his most likely contributions early will come on special teams.

“I think I’m on every special teams we have out there,” Jenkins said with a laugh. “I’ve been getting reps at punt, punt return, kickoff and kickoff return. I don’t know who’s going to get the spots in the end but hopefully I’ll get one or two of them. I’d really like to be on kickoff.”

Richt’s ’shout-out’ for Branden Smith

Richt opened his post-practice remarks Thursday by saying he wanted to give a “shout-out to Branden Smith.” He said the senior cornerback has stood out throughout preseason camp and impressed him and the coaching staff both with his play and with his attitude.

“He has been making plays every day,” Richt said. “He’s playing with a lot of intensity every rep; he looks like a senior trying to lead out there. He doesn’t say much. He just plays hard and makes plays. I’ve been really happy with what he’s been doing. He’s stood out.”

Smith found out last week he would not miss playing time despite his March arrest for marijuana possession. Smith accepted pretrial intervention in that case and passed UGA and court-ordered drug tests. Richt waived the usual 10 percent competition suspension for marijuana-use violations.

He’s known for a little while that he was going to play,” Richt said. “But I think to have it come out in the public probably was a boost for him and his family. But, you know, he had a great spring, too. He’s just practicing really hard. And he had his best summer by far from what the boys were commenting on. His stamina has been better throughout practice, and hopefully it will be throughout the season as well.”

Richt sticking with facial hair

Georgia has been known for its anti-facial hair policy, but the Bulldogs may have to waive it for their head coach.

Richt did not shave for the first week of camp and, when he finally did, he left himself a goatee. Every day he has joked with reporters that he would soon be cutting. Thursday he indicated he might stick with it a while.

“I shaved again last night, everything but this,” Richt said, rubbing the all-gray patch on his chin. “My wife texted me yesterday and said she really liked it. So I might keep it for a while.”

This and that . . .

Quarterback Aaron Murray was featured Thursday on ESPN’s “Inside the Program” with former Bulldog All-American defensive end David Pollack. Taped on the UGA campus Wednesday, Pollack and Murray discussed the intricacies of the quarterback position. The piece is supposed to run all week on ESPN’s SportsCenter. . . . Freshman John Theus continued to work with the No. 1 offense at right tackle on Thursday. . . . Branden Smith was in a green, non-contact jersey due to a shoulder contusion but was participating in practice. . . . Fellow DB Damian Swann (neck) also remains in green. . . . Players who remain sidelined include DE Ray Drew (concussion), safety Marc Deas (hamstring), outside linebacker Dexter Morant (shoulder) and tight end Hugh Williams (hand).

MORE GEORGIA FOOTBALL COVERAGE

55 comments Add your comment

GTBob

August 9th, 2012
4:55 pm

Richt opened his post-practice remarks Thursday by saying he wanted to give a “shout-out to Branden Smith.”

Well that explains why Richt went back on his own policies to let Smith play.

Phil

August 9th, 2012
4:57 pm

Augusta dawg

August 9th, 2012
5:28 pm

GT blob never has anything else to do. Must be quiet on the tech side since CPJ is at another fish fry. Call it Dawg envy I guessfry baby!

bitter 6TH MAN ON THE "o" LINE

August 9th, 2012
5:34 pm

exallent piece———dawg and yellow jacket fans need to relize that we are

in differant conferance —–our home town support needs to be a must

hate———uh———-bamma

JB

August 9th, 2012
5:34 pm

where I’m wrong

Bigdawg63

August 9th, 2012
5:34 pm

GTBob, what a name, goober tech bob, why do you hang out on a bulldogs blog site??? Tech must really suck that bad!!!

Dawg_Mike

August 9th, 2012
5:42 pm

I subscribe to the Larry Munson school of dread.
Oh, do you REALIZE we are going into this season with a true FRESHMAN kicker ?

Thats a lot of pressure I don’t care who you are.

GA Sandlapper

August 9th, 2012
5:48 pm

Fear the Goatee!

Steve Spurrier

August 9th, 2012
5:50 pm

…..
“You want him suspended for having a beer, or some pot, and he’s underage? How many football players would be playing if they had a beer, or a joint, and they were underage?”

BobDog

August 9th, 2012
6:07 pm

After reading about how a concussion kept Dontavious Wooten out for most of a season, I’m beginning to worry about Ray Drew. I hope he recovers soon.

bitter 6TH MAN ON THE "o" LINE

August 9th, 2012
6:11 pm

We have to live in a age when back room DRUG deals are the way for kids in college to aquire pot. why not make it legal and TAX POT.—

I bet 90% of college kids smoke the stuff but lets make them take a chance of

getting jail time————-GO FIGURE

sid

August 9th, 2012
6:12 pm

BobDog you’ve only got 4/5 of that name right. LMAO.

@ DA ricky Bobby Richt

August 9th, 2012
6:15 pm

Please tell us how Blairs problems were Richts fault? Maybe Blair had some things going on in his life off the field you don’t know about. Where was your last job as a kicking coach in the SEC?

bitter LAW FIRM

August 9th, 2012
6:16 pm

@ bitter 6th man——–dont try and act as if that laws are wrote

—- so –LAWYERS stay EMPLOYEED—–YOUR BEING PUT ON NOTICE

——Drugs will never be LEGAL——JOB SECURITY —-BITTER FOOL

BobDog

August 9th, 2012
6:18 pm

Sid, thanks for catching. And my apologies to RANTAVIOUS.

Carew Rowell

August 9th, 2012
6:28 pm

Block somebody this year, will ya….

Destin Dawg

August 9th, 2012
7:10 pm

I’d sure like to see a fake kick once in a while.. while at FSU Bowden and Richt had a couple Punterooski’s.. maybe with a frosh kicker we should try it from time to time ??? LSU and Awlbarn have when they beat us !!

Pj

August 9th, 2012
7:13 pm

2 years from now we will be talking about jordan Jenkins the way we currently speak of Jarvis jones. What an impressive kid.

Cmdawg99

August 9th, 2012
7:42 pm

Walsh had a girlfriend.

RHall55

August 9th, 2012
8:19 pm

Maybe the Coaches are going for the younger look…CMR sporting a goatee hopefully that means CRG and CWF will drop many pounds to make them look more presentable on the recruiting trail….oh that’s right, CRG doesn’t leave Athens and CWF will not be given a pass until he gets a couple of top notch other than Theus (he was a given for him!!)

AAAAA Athens Bail Bonds R Us

August 9th, 2012
8:54 pm

LOLZ IM SO FUNNY I POST THE SAME THING EVER DAY HURR DURR DURRRRRRRR

KJ

August 9th, 2012
8:57 pm

“Please tell us how Blairs problems were Richts fault?”

I’m sure most of the trollosers on these blogs could rationalize their way into blaming hurricane ernesto on Richt, given enough time. And we all know they have plenty of that.

Snoop Dawg

August 9th, 2012
9:28 pm

Who cares whether the Three Million Dollar Man “Preacha Man” “Marjjoe” Markt Wrecked shave or not.

He’s an incompetent loser who will take a lot of talent down with him again this year as always…

suck it up, chumps…

@rhall55

August 9th, 2012
10:24 pm

What do you consider, Trent Brown, and Kubanlow? not top notch? You always criticize Friend , just how was Theus given to him? Little new flash for you, position coaches don’t just recruit their positions Obviously you aren’t close to the program and have never spoken with the players that play for Friend and how good a coach they believe he is.

William

August 9th, 2012
10:27 pm

Hopefully we won’t need to make many FG’s this year, it will ba all TD’s. I hate to put a freshman in that position. Fear the goatee. Fear the Dawgs. GATA.

ARdawg

August 10th, 2012
12:57 am

GTBob

Really, it is sad the depths you have fallen. Bless your little dried up black heart

Baltisraul

August 10th, 2012
8:36 am

Oops……Jenkins had to avoid the cut bock. Seems like it is not only GT hat teaches that technique. That might slow down some of my fellow Dog fans that keep saying that block is illegal.

bitter

August 10th, 2012
8:42 am

Rome braves fail to hold a 8-7 lead after 2 outs and 2 strikes in the bottom of the 9th

———————rome braves still provide intetaining baseball

———–game tonight at 7 pm—–support “A” ball ————-

Top Dawg

August 10th, 2012
9:15 am

@ GT Bob- There is NO policy at UGA suspending players if they PASS the drug test. CMR… 10-1 against the nerds. Suck it!

dean

August 10th, 2012
9:20 am

Jesus wore a beard. If it was good enough for him it is good enough for any believer. Let it grow, Coach.

AltamahaDawg

August 10th, 2012
9:48 am

Who would pay money to see Snoop sit in Coach Richt’s office and explain to him what an incompetent loser he was?

UGA Insider

August 10th, 2012
9:56 am

Very worried about special teams…

G-Dawg

August 10th, 2012
10:18 am

Get over it!! geez!!!

AltamahaDawg

August 10th, 2012
10:45 am

If only we had fired John Lilly and brought in a a ST coach to work with the exact same guys, doing the exact same thing, during the exact same hours, all of yout worries would disapear.

dwagdawg

August 10th, 2012
10:55 am

2 trolls walk into a bar. 1 is named heady lamar, the other is named dawgfan. They have an old English bulldog with them, his name is Herschel and he is 80 in dog years. He passes gas a lot and urinates on their legs, but the trolls don’t seem to mind. Heady orders a Seabreeze, dawgfan orders a Zima. They sit at the bar and run their mouths, sipping their drinks. After about 15 minutes some guy walks in, picks up the old bulldog’s stump of a tail, looks, then shakes his head and walks out. This happens several different times, and finally heady lamar asks the bartender what is going on. The bartender replies, “Word on the street is that there’s a bulldog in the bar with 2 buttholes.”

True story.

Thanks

chilidawg

August 10th, 2012
10:56 am

He chose #13? This will surely give me an ulcer…

AltamahaDawg

August 10th, 2012
10:59 am

not sure about heady lamar, but I already know dawgfan’s comeback is going to be “what about the LSU game, huh, what about that!!!!!”

robodawg

August 10th, 2012
11:00 am

If the wife likes the goatee, safe to say it will be sticking around.

dwagdawg

August 10th, 2012
11:31 am

@Altamaha,

I thought dawgfan’s main comeback was “Tech is a joke…”

dwagdawg

August 10th, 2012
11:33 am

and heady’s main comeback is “Tech fans are delusional…”

UGA Insider

August 10th, 2012
11:35 am

I am hearing a bunch of static about Auburn and Alabama getting caught using some shady recruiting tactics. I know this is nothing new but they are the most recent stories and are gaining traction. I just can’t find anything online about it.

Jim

August 10th, 2012
11:53 am

Chip last year there were seven players listed as kickers and punters and yet we start this season looking at two freshmen. From the outside looking in it looks as while some positions work to get as many players into games others like kickers, punters, and quarterbacks never see the field and then when they are needed fith year seniors play like freshmen. A prime example is when Joe Cox was so sick he could hardly hold his head up against South Carolina we didn’t have a quarterback who could play even when the backups were 3 and 4 star players out of high school. Maybe you should do a story about this.

Tampa Gator

August 10th, 2012
11:59 am

@dean…..

How do you know Jesus wore a beard…….oh….I forgot……those kodak instant camera photos of him in the King James Bible…..never mind. Bin Laden also wore a beard….and I don’t think he had much in common with Jesus…….or Richt. Personally, I think Richt should not cut his facial hair until he beats Florida, wins the SEC, and wins a national championship.

GTBob

August 10th, 2012
12:07 pm

Really, it is sad the depths you have fallen. Bless your little dried up black heart

Yeah, yeah. I’m thinking about turning normal again before the season starts. Just getting my last few shots in.

'94 UGA Alumnus

August 10th, 2012
12:29 pm

Morgan can’t do much worse than Walsh did last year. Walsh was terrible but yet somehow he managed to get drafted.

AltamahaDawg

August 10th, 2012
12:33 pm

Dean is probably just new here. He hasn’t learned yet to tip-toe around your refusal to allow the mention of anyting related to traditional religious imagery in the Georgia Bulldog blogs.

get over yourselves

August 10th, 2012
12:38 pm

The worst part about uga is the fans and their constant whining and their obsession with football. I do love the call in show after the games when they drawl out coach richt’s name and start telling him how to draw up plays…. good stuff.

AltamahaDawg

August 10th, 2012
12:50 pm

……said the guy whining and obsessed with UGA football.

DawginLex

August 10th, 2012
1:05 pm

Honey badger out at LSU???

CubanDawg

August 10th, 2012
1:34 pm

Les Miles has dismissed The Honey badger off the team for violation of team rules. Rumor is drugs.

http://www.lsusports.net/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=205576641