**** Rodrigo’s 2016 season highlight film now available on YouTube ****
Hip injury can’t stop Rodrigo from entrance into UGA record book as Dawgs drop Kentucky; click on 2017 Season tab
For Rodrigo’s updated Georgia stats, click on Field Goals, Kicking Distances and Kickoffs tabs
Updated through Nov. 19, 2017
Welcome to Rodrigo Blankenship’s website, Internet home of the University of Georgia’s All-Southeastern Conference and FWAA All-American redshirt sophomore kicker and kickoff specialist for the 2017 fall season.
Rodrigo’s sophomore season started on Sept. 2 with a 31-10 home victory over Appalachian State; Rodrigo helped out with 7 points and 5 touchbacks from 6 kickoffs. On Sept. 9, Rodrigo and his teammates traveled to South Bend, Ind. and left town with a 20-19 win over Notre Dame, thanks to Rodrigo’s 30-yard field goal with less than 4 minutes left in the game. On Sept. 16, Rodrigo accumulated 7 touchbacks from 7 kickoffs and added 5 extra points in a 42-14 Georgia victory over visiting Samford. On Sept. 23, Rodrigo contributed 6 touchbacks from 6 kickoffs, 4 PATs and a 49-yard field goal to a 31-3 dismantling of Mississippi State in the Dawgs’ SEC opener. On Sept. 30, Georgia thrashed Tennessee 41-0 as Rodrigo assisted with 5 touchbacks and 8 points.
On Oct. 7, Rodrigo put 9 points on the scoreboard in a 45-14 triumph at Vanderbilt, and that was followed on Oct. 14 by a 17-point, 8-touchback performance in a 53-28 home win over Missouri. After a bye week, Georgia defeated Florida 42-7 on Oct. 28 with Rodrigo chipping in with 6 points and 4 touchbacks. On Nov. 4, Georgia defeated South Carolina 24-10 at Sanford Stadium with Rodrigo helping out with 6 points and 3 touchbacks. On Nov. 11 the Bulldogs traveled to Auburn and were routed 40-17; Rodrigo contributed 5 points and 3 touchbacks to the losing cause. In the Nov. 18 42-13 home win over Kentucky, Rodrigo’s 4 touchbacks tied him with Kevin Butler for the all-time school record of 51 in one season.
Rodrigo’s redshirt freshman season began with a Georgia Dome opener against North Carolina, continued with his Sanford Stadium debut against Nicholls State and continued with eight Southeastern Conference games against Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Florida, Kentucky and Auburn, a non-conference matchup against University of Louisiana-Lafayette, a home game against in-state rival Georgia Tech and ended with a Liberty Bowl victory over TCU.
Rodrigo started the 2016 season as the Bulldogs’ kickoff specialist; he assumed placekicking duties against Mississippi. After leading the team in scoring, Rodrigo was selected to the SEC’s all-freshman team and a few days later was named an honorable mention All-American by Campusinsiders.com. Following the Bulldogs’ bowl victory in late December, Rodrigo was named as kicker to the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-American team.
Rodrigo’s 2015 season became a redshirt one as the Bulldogs’ coaching staff employed seniors Marshall Morgan and Collin Barber during the season, saving Rodrigo an extra year of eligibility.
Fall semester ended in mid-December with final exams as Georgia prepared for its Jan. 2 Taxslayer Bowl game against Penn State in Jacksonville, Fla., a game for which Rodrigo traveled and dressed out but did not play.
The Bulldogs defeated Penn State 24-17 and Rodrigo was named to the Athletic Director’s List for academic achievement as he compiled a 3.5 GPA for the fall semester. He duplicated that distinction during spring semester with a 3.75 GPA. He raised his overall GPA to 3.7 by making an A in his lone summer semester course.
Spring semester included weight training three times a week, conditioning runs twice a week, a full academic schedule and five weeks of spring practice, culminated by the annual G-Day spring game on Apr. 16 in Sanford Stadium. For a brief report on Rodrigo’s G-Day performance, please click on the 2016 Season tab.
Rodrigo enjoyed a multiple-record-setting career at Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Ga., where he played for varsity coach Billy Shackelford. Capping his outstanding tenure at Sprayberry was an impressive performance at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 3, 2015 in San Antonio’s Alamodome, where he averaged 71.3 yards on kickoffs, made his only field goal attempt and all three PATs and had two onside kickoffs recovered (though one was overturned).
In January of 2014 Rodrigo was named Prokicker.com’s 2013 first team All-American kicker after his appearance in the Dec. 31, 2013 AT&T Georgia Junior Bowl, where he converted three field goals and scored 12 points in the West’s 38-7 rout of the East. Rodrigo’s excellence in all areas was demonstrated after the 2014 season as he was honored 10 times by various groups, six as a kicker and four as a punter, including U.S. Army All-American kicker and all-state punter (for the second straight year). On signing day, Feb. 4, 2015, Rodrigo officially became a Georgia Bulldog by signing his letter of intent to play for Coach Mark Richt’s team.
As a kicker, Rodrigo was named to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, also was selected to the Region 7-AAAAA first team as kicker, the Atlanta Touchdown Club’s all-metro/all-classification team as Place Kicker of the Year, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s all-metro/Cobb first team kicker, the Marietta Daily Journal’s all-Cobb County team as first team kicker, and Kickdoctor.com’s Class AAAAA first team kicker. As a punter, he was selected first team all-state for Class AAAAA, Punter of the Year for the Cobb County Touchdown Club and Kickdoctor.com’s Class AAAAA first team punter as well as all-classification Punter of the Year.
On Mar. 28, Rodrigo was named Georgia all-classification state punter of the year in a ceremony at Atlanta’s American Cancer Society Center. The honor came from kicking service Kickdoctor.com (run by Cedric Oglesby), which previously had named Rodrigo first team Class AAAAA kicker and punter. He was a finalist for the all-classification honor as both punter and kicker. The designation as Georgia punter of the year was Rodrigo’s 10th luminary selection of his senior year, four for punting and six for place kicker. Rodrigo exited the ceremony with a football trophy for his mantel and three all-state plaques, one of them for his selection as 2014 first team all-state punter.
Rodrigo added a second honor from his classmates in late April after being voted Most Athletic male member for the Class of 2015 in February. In a final round of Senior Superlative voting, Rodrigo was elected Most Likely to Become a Professional Athlete.
Rodrigo was selected to All-American teams six years in a row, twice as a junior All-American in seventh and eighth grades, also as a ninth-grade Eastbay/U.S. Army All-American in 2012, two years (2012 and 2013) by Prokicker.com and then by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He participated in the Eastbay-U.S. Army All-American Bowl in 2010-11-12, scoring 20 points (14 extra points, two field goals) in four games. In his last appearance in the Alamodome, on Jan. 3, 2015 for the East in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, he averaged 71.7 yards for his kickoffs, made his only field goal attempt plus was 3 for 3 on extra points and had one of four onside attempts recovered by his teammates, just missing on two others. Rodrigo totaled 26 points (3 for 3 on field goals, 17 for 18 PATs) for his four trips to San Antonio.
Rodrigo’s 2013 season began with his selection to the Class AAAAA all-state team as a punter, and continued through the postseason with his selection as first team punter for the Marietta Daily Journal all-Cobb County team. Rodrigo led the county in punting average and had the four longest punts of the season — 71, 70, 62 and 61 yards. The next longest punt by any other kicker in the county was 58. Rodrigo was also named first team punter for the Georgia SportsWriters Association all-state team for Class AAAAA. For the 2013 season, Rodrigo notched a dozen more school records for kicking and punting, including total touchbacks, touchback percentage, kickoff yard average, kickoffs of 70-plus yards, kickoffs of 4.0-second hang time or better, field goals attempted and made, kick-scoring, punting average, longest punt and PAT percentage. For the 2012 football season, Rodrigo either set or broke 16 individual kicking records at Sprayberry, eight each for varsity and junior varsity — touchbacks (both), kickoff average (both), touchback percentage (both), punting average (both), kickoff return yards (both), punting return yards (both), longest punt (varsity), field goals attempted (both), field goals made (junior varsity). Finally, Rodrigo was also selected as both kicker and punter to the 7-AAAAA All-Region team, his first official high school honor.