ATHENS — For the first time in four years Georgia head coach Mark Richt will not be able to call on the services of kicker Blair Walsh or punter Drew Butler after the experienced pair’s graduation at the end of the 2011 season.
Former Catersville High School standout Barber, who committed to Georgia after impressing Richt at a summer camp, said he understands the challenge of replacing the 2012 All-American Butler.
“I’ve got big shoes to fill,” Barber said. “But I don’t think there’s any limitation to what one came achieve with determination, and a great mindset, and putting God first I hope to become the best I can be and fill his shoes really good and take over the job.”
For Morgan there is more to winning the placekicking job than simply replacing Walsh.
“Actually since I got here I felt the responsibility,” Morgan said. “I know it’s a lot of pressure, it’s a big job and all the Georgia fans don’t take it as a joke. It’s serious SEC football, it’s big I felt it.”
Despite feeling the pressure of playing in the Southeastern Conference Morgan said that, after the Bulldogs ninth practice, he is starting to feel more comfortable in the team.
“I feel really comfortable with the team, the snapper, the line, the whole operation’s going really well,” Morgan said “We still have a lot to improve on for these next three weeks but we think we can do it.”
The adjustment to college, even just in practice, has been drastic for Barber who didn’t begin playing football until his freshman year in high school.
“We’ve had the kicking scrimmage to help me realize the pace that they’re going to be moving at me,” he said. “Its definitely a lot faster than high school ball.”
While only being with the team a short amount of time the two have already forged a close bond.
“Marshall and I have become really good friends,” Barber said. “We’ve roomed together so we see each other every day and we’ve gotten to that point where we can depend on each other and hold each other accountable for our actions.”
Georgia will host Buffalo in its season opener Sept. 1 at 12.21 p.m. The game will be televised by the SEC Network.