Why Cameron Nizialek is emerging as Georgia’s starting punter

ATHENS — It looks like Georgia has at least one newcomer who is closing on a starting spot: Punter Cameron Nizialek.

Nizialek, the graduate transfer from Columbia, remains ahead of sophomore Marshall Long, last year’s starter until an injury ended his season.

“Cam is ahead of Marshall a little bit,” head coach Kirby Smart said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “Just consistency, direction, hang-time, those things. Just statistically, he’s a little bit ahead. The other one is neck-and-neck. It’s just tight right now.”
There were indications this spring that Nizialek had a chance to win the job. While Long was sitting out, still working his way back from a knee injury, Nizialek drew praise for his performance.
Long has been back this preseason, but Nizialek has moved ahead, with Saturday being the second time in three days that Smart has said so. Long, who earned a scholarship out of China Grove, N.C., averaged 38.7 yards on 49 punts in nine games last season. Then he suffered a knee injury in practice and sat out the remaining four games, replaced by Brice Ramsey.
Smart indicated he didn’t think Long was suffering any lingering effects of his injury.
“He would tell you that he’s probably mentally a little bit effected. He’s probably still pushing through that,” Smart said. “But health-wise, he’s cleared to go, he’s 100 percent. Mentally I think he’s done a good job of pushing through it and having confidence to go out and stroke it.

“The other kid is just punting the ball really good. It’s not that Marshall is punting it bad.”

As for the place-kicking competition, Smart reiterated that it was “really tight” between sophomore Rodrigo Blankenship and graduate transfer David Marvin.

The post Why Cameron Nizialek is emerging as Georgia’s starting punter appeared first on DawgNation.

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