Rodrigo lights up Mercedes-Benz Stadium with bombs-away kickoffs, keeps breaking his own record

Updated through Dec. 3, 2017

Rodrigo sprints downfield after his kickoff to start the SEC championship game vs. Auburn on Dec. 2, 2017 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. His kick soared 79 yards, out of the end zone, for a touchback.

Rodrigo enhanced his dome-playing resume’ on Dec. 2 during Georgia’s 28-7 SEC-title-winning performance against Auburn in Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium as the redshirt sophomore continued to break his own single-season touchback record.

Rodrigo had six kickoffs against the Tigers, and five of them went for touchbacks, including two out of the end zone. He raised his season total to 60, exactly triple his 2016 output of 20, and the Dawgs have at least one more game to play, perhaps two.

The former record of 51, held by Kevin Butler since 1981, fades farther behind Rodrigo’s breakout season.

Rodrigo’s first kickoff was measured at 79 yards, four yards past the back line, followed by touchbacks of 74 and 72 yards. A 64-yard kickoff had an unofficial hang time of 4.62 seconds, a career best, and the returner was tackled after a 21-yard effort. That was followed by another 72-yard touchback, and Rodrigo capped his awesome indoor outing with an 81-yard kickoff following Georgia’s last score, equaling his career best, established earlier in the season at Notre Dame.

For the game, Rodrigo averaged 73.7 yards for his kickoffs, raising his season average to 70.6 yards. His 60 touchbacks have come from 82 kickoffs, a percentage of 73.2, more than double his percentage of 36.4 in 2016.

Game kickoff distances, fall 2017

81 — 2 times

80 — 5 times

79 — 2 times

78 — 1 time

77 — 6 times

76 — 6 times

75 — 5 times

74 — 5 times

73 — 2 times

72 — 4 times

71 — 2 times

70 — 12 times

69 — 1 time

68 — 4 times

67 — 1 time

Best hang times, fall 2017 (unofficial)

4.62, 4.60, 4.53, 4.50 (3), 4.47 (3), 4.44 (5), 4.43 (2), 4.40, 4.38 (3), 4.37 (3), 4.35, 4.34 (2), 4.32 (2), 4.31 (6), 4.28 (4), 4.25 (10), 4.22, 4.19 (3), 4.16 (3), 4.15 (5), 4.13 (2), 4.12 (3), 4.10, 4.06, 4.04, 4.03 (2), 4.00, 3.96, 3.93, 3.91.

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 (3), 81 (3), 80 (17), 79 (12), 78 (16), 77 (16), 76 (49), 75 (91), 74 (88), 73 (110), 72 (169), 71 (135), 70 (227), 69 (193), 68 (229), 67 (222), 66 (185), 65 (273), 64 (198), 63 (256), 62 (208), 61 (146), 60 (130)

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 — 81 vs. Notre Dame, 9/9/17; 80-79  vs. Samford, 9/16/17; 80 vs. Tennessee (hit crossbar), 9/30/17; 80-80-79 vs. Missouri, 10/14/17; 80 vs. Auburn, 11/12/16 (hit crossbar); 78-77-76 vs. Florida, 10/28/17; 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).