Marshall Morgan had a terrific season last year. And I like his attitude about fixing the one part of his game that could stand improvement.
But he is worried about kickoffs. Last year that was the only blight on his resume. His yards-per-kickoff was down three percentage points from his freshman year, and only 17 of his 72 attempts (23.6 percent) were touchbacks.
For comparison’s sake, Aguayo had touchbacks on 37.5 percent of his kickoffs, although his average kickoff length was about the same as Morgan’s (60.8 to 60.3).
Morgan said he changed his footwork in an effort to get longer kickoffs. Prior to kickoffs, he used to take 10 steps back and then three to the left, before running straight to the tee. Now he’s doing nine steps back, then six to the left.
Kickoffs and field goals have a different trajectory, which is why it’s not automatic that someone who can make 55-yard field goals should be able to boot it through on kickoffs. Kickoffs have a tee an inch off the ground.
On field goals, he takes three steps back and two to the left. So Morgan figured why not make it the same fraction on kickoffs.
“I can consistently get them in the back now, unless there’s a crazy wind in my face or something,” Morgan said.
But it’s something to realize he’s done that all by his lonesome. The only comment from a coach in the article is Richt’s praise for how Morgan is striking the ball in practice.
You’re on your own, kid.