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    Friday, October 26, 2007

    More Head Than Foot

    Duke kicker Joe Surgan is having another bad season with the Blue Devils. The 6'4" and 210 pound junior place kicker from Weston, Florida seems to have all the physical attributes but as we Nole fans have seen with past kickers, it is more head than foot.

    Surgan in 2005 had captured the Blue Devils interest with his strong leg as a junior at American Heritage High School in Florida where he split the uprights on eight of his 10 field goal attempts. Surgan then transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where he hit 15 of 18 filed goals. Despite a late recruiting push from Florida and Urban Meyer, Surgan went to Duke.

    Once ranked as the nation's number four overall kicking prospect and a four start recruit by, Surgan in 2006 managed to convert just three of his 10 field goal attempts including just 1-of-5 from inside 30 yards. Three kicks were blocked, and three of his 12 extra points.

    "Over spring break he went to a kicking camp," said Roof. "It's just another example of our guys having the desire to put a lot into [improving].

    The work paid off as Surgan capped off the Spring looking nothing like the player who finished 2006 in the number 26 uniform. In the annual spring scrimmage he converted every attempt

    However in 2007, he is just 1 for 4 in field goal attempts and 4 for 6 in extra point attempts. He has been replaced as the point after kicker.

    "It is mental with Joe,' Duke head coach Ted Roof said. "Because he makes every kick during the week in practice. Then gets in a game ... it is mental. It's not physical.

    "It's like a golf pro with 3-foot putts. Those guys get the yips. Then they stand in front of a putt and they know they're not going to make it. Whereas the guys who know they're going to drill it in the back of the cup, it goes in the cup. It's definitely not physical."

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