G-Day Game full of surprises for Rodrigo

Updated through May 2, 2017

Rodrigo delivers a 77-yard kickoff on Apr. 22 in the annual G-Day Red and Black spring game. Wearing white, Rodrigo played for both teams, making one of his four field goals on the last play of the first half and making the game-winner with 1:03 left in the fourth quarter. His kickoffs averaged 71 yards with a long of 77.

Rodrigo’s second spring game for Georgia was definitely and markedly different from his first one for several reasons, and the results from the Apr. 22 Red and Black match-up leaned heavily toward the positive for the redshirt freshman.

In the spring of 2016, Rodrigo was limited to place-kicking duties because of a pulled glute muscle. In the 2017 version, Rodrigo went to the other extreme, executing field goal attempts and kickoffs for both squads. After a mishit on his opening kickoff, which still carried to the goal line, Rodrigo launched seven more that averaged 71 yards in distance and 4.33 seconds in hang time.

Three of his kickoffs were touchbacks and two others probably would have been downed by returners in a real game. His longest kickoff was 77 yards, coming to rest two yards beyond the end zone’s back line after just missing the crossbar. He had another kickoff that hit the back line for 75 yards and one other that landed 9 yards deep in the end zone for 74 yards. The other distances were 66, 67, 68 and 70 yards.

His best hang time was 4.47 seconds and his worst hang time was 4.25 seconds. The other hang times were 4.38, 4.37, 4.37, 4.28, and 4.28 seconds.

Rodrigo’s eventful G-Day was capped by his receiving two awards after the game–for academics and community service.

Rodrigo’s successful field goal distances were 34, 33, 28 and 19 yards. All but the 28-yarder were for the Black squad. The 28-yard field goal broke a tie at 22 to give the Red squad a 25-22 lead with 1:03 left in the game. A drive led by Jacob Eason to try to get Rodrigo in range to re-tie it for the Black team fizzled out near midfield.

Rodrigo had the distance but missed wide right from 49 yards, and a strong wind pulled a 40-yard dead-center attempt off line and wide right. For the game, Rodrigo scored 13 points, adding one PAT after a Black team touchdown to lead all scorers. Last fall, he also was the team’s top scorer with 68 points, outdistancing Isaiah McKenzie, who has since departed for the NFL. In the previous spring game, Rodrigo scored 9 points on two field goals and three PATs.

Immediately after the game, the entire team lined up on the field for surprise presentations of spring practice awards, and Rodrigo was the only player to receive two. He was given an academic plaque for sophomore GPA (3.74) and he was also given a plaque for Community Service participation. Rodrigo has taken part in numerous community service appearances and projects, both in and around Athens as well as in his hometown of Marietta. He was unaware any recognition was forthcoming.