Rodrigo resumes kickoff duties in bowl game

Updated through Apr. 24, 2017

Rodrigo approaches the ball for one of his kickoffs against Vanderbilt on Oct. 15. His last three of five kickoffs were downed in the end zone for touchbacks.
Rodrigo approaches the ball for one of his kickoffs against Vanderbilt on Oct. 15. He managed one touchback in the Liberty Bowl victory over TCU.

Completely recovered from a pulled hip muscle incurred just before the Georgia Tech game which ruled him out of kickoff duties for that game, Rodrigo was back on the field with his green tee for the Dec. 30 Liberty Bowl against TCU.

His first kickoff, a low-trajectory effort, landed 4 yards deep in the end zone for a touchback. Instructed to kick with a higher trajectory, Rodrigo’s other kickoffs all fell short of the goal line and were returned with some success by the Horned Frogs.

Rodrigo finished his redshirt freshman season with 20 touchbacks in 55 attempts, a percentage of 36. His longest kickoff of the season was an 80-yarder that bounced off the crossbar and through the uprights against Auburn. He also had a 77-yard kickoff at South Carolina. His high kickoffs did restrict the opponents’ overall return capability as the average field position for Georgia foes was the 26-yard line.

Rodrigo averages 71-plus in U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Rodrigo culminated a record-breaking senior season with three more outstanding kickoffs in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 3, 2015 in San Antonio’s Alamodome.

Rodrigo’s 72-yarder with 3.97-second hang time started the nationally televised game with a touchback for the East team, sailing out of bounds in the left corner of the end zone.

After he made a 35-yard field goal on the East’s first possession, Rodrigo’s next kickoff was a 73-yarder which the West return man decided to bring out of the end zone — a mistake. The 4.14 seconds of hang time allowed Rodrigo’s teammates to bring down the runner at the 10-yard line, 15 yards short of where a touchback would have been spotted.

Rodrigo’s next kickoff had a 4.27-second hang time and the 69-yarder was brought out of the end zone, and the runner was tackled at the 13-yard line. Even though the kickoffs were from the collegiate 35-yard line, the West’s average starting position was its own 16-yard line. Rodrigo’s regulation kickoffs averaged 4.13 seconds of hang time.

Rodrigo’s teammates recovered two of his four onside attempts in the fourth quarter, but the referees overturned one of the recoveries.

For the season, Rodrigo had 46 kickoffs of 70 yards or more and 52 kickoffs with hang times of 4.0 seconds or more, both personal records. He finished with 61 touchbacks, easily surpassing his previous best of 50 in the 2012 season.

In the Cobb Senior Bowl on Dec. 20, 2014, Rodrigo had two 70-plus kickoffs, six 4.0-plus hang times and three touchbacks, also kicking off from the 35-yard line.

Game kickoff distances, fall 2016

80 — 1 time

77 — 1 time

75 — 2 times

73 — 2 times

72 — 4 times

71 — 2 times

70 — 4 times

Best hang times, fall 2016 (unofficial)

4.59, 4.57, 4.53 (2), 4.50, 4.38 (2), 4.34, 4.31, 4.28 (2), 4.25, 4.24, 4.23, 4.22, 4.21 (3), 4.18 (2), 4.16 (4), 4.15 (2), 4.13 (2), 4.12 (2), 4.09, 4.06 (3), 4.03 (5), 4.00 (2), 3.97 (2), 3.96, 3.94, 3.90 (2).

Rodrigo drives through this 79-yard kickoff vs. Kell on Oct. 31, equaling his season and career best, extending his touchback record to 52 and keeping his kickoff average above 70 yards.
Rodrigo drives through this 79-yard kickoff vs. Kell on Oct. 31, equaling his season and career best, extending his touchback record to 52 and keeping his kickoff average above 70 yards.

Game kickoff distances, fall 2014

79 — 2 times

78 — 1 time

77 — 2 times

75 — 4 times

74 — 4 times

73 — 11 times

72 — 6 times

71 — 5 times

70 — 11 times

69 — 6 times

68 — 2 times

67 — 3 times

66 — 1 time

65 — 3 times

64 — 1 time

Best game hang times, fall 2014

4.44, 4.41, 4.35, 4.34, 4.33, 4.32, 4.29, 4.27 (2), 4.26, 4.25, 4.24 (2), 4.23 (2), 4.22 (2), 4.21, 4.20 (3), 4.19 (2), 4.18, 4.17, 4.16 (2), 4.15 (3), 4.14, 4.13 (3), 4.12 (2), 4.10, 4.09, 4.08, 4.07 (2), 4.05 (3), 4.04, 4.03 (2), 4.02, 4.01 (4), 4.00 (2), 3.97 (3), 3.94, 3.91, 3.90 (2), 3.89, 3.88, 3.85, 3.83, 3.77

Game kickoff distances, fall 2013

75 – 3 times

74 – 2 times

73 – 3 times

72 – 4 times

70 – 10 times

69 – 3 times

68 – 8 times

67 – 2 times

66 – 1 time

65 – 4 times

Rodrigo follows flight of one of his seven touchbacks against Forsyth Central during 45-28 victory. His final kickoff went over the crossbar for a distance of 75 yards.
Rodrigo follows flight of one of his seven touchbacks against Forsyth Central during 45-28 victory. His final kickoff went over the crossbar for a distance of 75 yards.

Best game hang times, fall 2013

4.44, 4.37, 4.32 (2), 4.28 (2), 4.25 (3), 4.22, 4.19, 4.18, 4.16 (2), 4.15 (2), 4.14, 4.12 (2), 4.10 (2), 4.09 (2), 4.08, 4.07, 4.06, 4.03 (4), 4.01, 4.00 (3).

Game kickoff distances, fall 2012

74 yards – 1 time

73 yards – 1 time

72 yards – 2 times

71 yards – 5 times

70 yards – 5 times

69 yards – 8 times

68 yards – 9 times

67 yards – 4 times

66 yards – 1 time

65 yards – 3 times

Best game hang times, fall 2012

4.19, 4.10 (2), 4.09 (2), 4.06 (3), 4.03, 4.00 (4), 3.97 (2), 3.94, 3.93, 3.91, 3.90, 3.87 (5), 3.84 (2), 3.81 (2)

best practice kickoff average, college (10 best in the air) — 9.9 yards deep, 6/18/16; 8.5 yards deep, 7/16/16; 7.6 yards deep, 5/25/16

best practice kickoff average (best 10 in the air) 16.2 yards deep, McCabe charting, 5/11/14; 15.7 yards deep, practice, 4/30/13; 15.5 yards deep, LSU, 6/1/13; 15.2 deep, 9/9/13; 14.5 yards deep, 5/7/13; 14.4 yards deep, 5/6/15, practice; 13.2 yards deep, 5/3/13; 12.8 yards deep, practice, 3/10/13; 12.7 yards deep, practice, 4/23/14; 12.4 yards deep, practice, 11/20/13; 12.4 yards deep, practice, 10/29/13; 12.0 yards deep, practice, 4/20/13; 12.0 yards deep, 5/20/12, Kohl’s; 11.8 yards deep, 5/18/12; 11.7 deep, Ohio State, 6/11/13; 11.6 deep, Sprayberry, 11/6/13; 11.6 deep, Sprayberry, 9/10/12; 11.5 deep, practice, 3/16/13; 11.3 yards deep, practice, 3/22/14; 11.1 yards deep, practice, 4/26/14; 11.0 deep, UGA, 6/6/12; 10.9 yards deep, practice, 7/14/13; 10.8 yards deep, practice, 8/18/13; 10.8 yards deep, Top Gun, 7/20/13; 10.7 yards deep, 5/28/13; 10.7 yards deep (72-72-71-71-71-71-70-70-70-69), 8/12/12, McCabe; 10.2 yards deep, 6/4/12;

Best practice kickoff average against the wind (best 10 in air): 5.2 deep, 7/7/12; 4.5 deep, 5/14/13; 3.0 deep, 12/31/12; 1.1 deep, 5/31/12

Longest kickoff in air, college/high school ball – 83, 82 (2), 81, 80 (10), 79 (8), 78 (14), 77 (10), 76 (41), 75 (77), 74 (75), 73 (101), 72 (160), 71 (127), 70 (206), 69 (189), 68 (220), 67 (218), 66 (180), 65 (260), 64 (195), 63 (254), 62 (205), 61 (145), 60 (128)

Longest kickoff with roll – 101 yards, practice, 10/30/14; 100 and 99 yards, practice, 4/30/13; 94 yards, 5/26/11, practice; 91 yards, practice, 6/19/11; 88 yards, 1/4/11, Incarnate Word; 85, game, 8/25/11; 85, 1/4/11, Incarnate Word; 83 yards, 4/7/10; 82, 2/6/11; 81 and 80, 6/26/10; 81, 7/14/10; 81, 12/11/10; 81, 1/2/11

Longest kickoff in game, college — 80 vs. Auburn, 11/12/16 (hit crossbar); 77 vs. South Carolina, 10/9/16; 75-72 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, 11/19/16; 75 vs. Auburn, 11/12/16; 73 vs. Kentucky, 11/5/16; 73 vs. Florida, 10/29/16; 73-72 vs. Nicholls State, 9/10/16; 72-71 vs. Auburn, 11/12/16; 72 vs. Vanderbilt, 10/15/16.

Longest kickoff in game, high school – 79, Sprayberry vs. Kell, 10/31/14; 79, Sprayberry vs. North Springs, 9/19/14; 78, Sprayberry vs. Woodland-Cartersville, through uprights, 9/12/14; 77, Sprayberry vs. Forsyth Central, 10/17/14; 77, Sprayberry vs. Riverwood, 10/3/14; 75, Sprayberry vs. Cambridge, 10/10/14; 75, Sprayberry vs. Osborne, 11/1/13; 75, Sprayberry vs. North Atlanta, 9/26/14; 75, Sprayberry vs. Riverwood, 10/11/13; 74, Sprayberry vs. Riverwood, through uprights, 10/11/13; 75, Sprayberry vs. Forsyth Central, through uprights, 9/20/13; 74 twice, Sprayberry vs. Woodland-Cartersville, 9/12/14; 74, Sprayberry, through uprights, 10/12/12; 73, Junior Bowl, 12/31/13; 73-72, Sprayberry, 9/20/13; 73, Sprayberry, 9/21/12.

Onsides kickoffs – 35 attempted, 13 recovered through 1/3/15.

Touchbacks
2008 — none;

2009 — 1 (vs. Kell);

2010 – 6 (2 vs. Kell, 2 vs. Wheeler, 1 vs. Pope, 1 vs. Milton), 7 other kickoffs in end zone and run out, 4 of those in Texas;

2011 – 25 (5 vs. Marietta ninth grade; 4 vs. Campbell varsity, 2 vs. Roswell varsity, 2 vs. Centennial 9th, 1 vs. Etowah varsity, 5 vs. Lassiter 9th, 2 vs. Roswell 9th; 1 vs. Wheeler varsity, 3 vs. Canada in Alamodome)

2012 — 50 (2 vs.Campbell, 1 vs. Wheeler, 2 vs.Kennesaw Mountain, 1 vs.Roswell JV, 2 vs. Lassiter, 7 vs. Wheeler JV, 4 vs. Walton JV, 5 vs. Forsyth Central, 2 vs. Lassiter JV, 4 vs. Sequoyah, 2 vs. Kell JV, 2 vs. Milton JV, 5 vs. Riverwood, 3 vs.Pope, 3 vs. Kell, 4 vs. Osborne, 1 vs. Sequoyah)

2013 — 45 (4 vs. Campbell, 3 vs. Wheeler, 4 vs. Kennesaw Mountain, 2 vs. Lassiter, 7 vs. Forsyth Central, 2 vs. Sequoyah, 5 vs. Milton JV, 4 vs. Riverwood, 4 vs. Pope, 2 vs. Kell, 4 vs. Osborne, 2 vs. Creekview, 2 vs. East/Junior Bowl)

2014 — 61 (5 vs. North Paulding, 2 vs. South Paulding, 4 vs. Kennesaw Mountain, 9 vs. Woodland-Cartersville, 6 vs. North Springs, 8 vs. North Atlanta, 4 vs. Riverwood, 6 vs. Cambridge, 5 vs. Forsyth Central, 3 vs. Kell, 5 vs. Sequoyah, 3 vs. National/Cobb Senior Bowl, 1 vs. West/U.S. Army All-American Bowl)

2015 — 0 (none attempted; redshirt freshman at UGA).

2016 — 20 (Nicholls State 4, Mississippi 2, South Carolina 2, Vanderbilt 3, Florida 1, Kentucky 3, Auburn 3, UL-Lafayette 1, TCU 1).