Georgia's Rodrigo Blankenship Named Lou Groza Award Finalist
ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia graduate place-kicker Rodrigo Blankenship has been included as one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award, which is awarded to nation’s top place-kicker.
Blankenship and the other two finalists – Iowa’s Keith Duncan and Washington State’s Blake Mazza - will be honored at a banquet on Dec. 9 in West Palm Beach, which is hosted by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. A winner will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 12, at ESPN’s Home Depot College Football Awards Show, which will be held at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
Georgia’s last finalist for the Groza Award was Blair Walsh in 2009. Blankenship was a semifinalist in both 2018 and 2017.
Honors have already begun to roll in for Blankenship. The six-time 2019 Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week has earned one of the National Football Foundation (NFF) National Scholar Athlete Awards; is a finalist for the Campbell Trophy and Burlsworth Trophy; and he was a semifinalist for Wuerffel Trophy.
Blankenship, a native of Marietta, Ga., is the SEC’s second leading scorer this year, averaging 9.5 points per game, and has connected on 23-of-26 field goal attempts and all 36 of his PATs. He has drilled three 50-yard field goals during his team’s 10-1 start. Blankenship is the FBS active leader by 15 with a total of 76 made field goals and after scoring 13 points in the most recent victory over No. 24 Texas A&M, he is UGA’s all-time leading scorer with 418 points.
The former walk-on who earned a 2018 UGA undergraduate degree is a 2019 CBS Sports/Athlon Midseason All-American. Blankenship has connected on a school record 190 consecutive PATs, which ranks second in SEC history. Thanks in large part to his contribution, Georgia leads the nation with 281 PATs in a row dating back to 2014.
The No. 4 Bulldogs (10-1, 7-1 SEC) travel to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech (3-8, 2-6 ACC) on Saturday. ABC will televise the matchup at 12 p.m.