He's tied for 12th in NCAA history with 80 career field goals made on a Georgia football record 82.5%. Game clinching field goals, scholarship earning leadership, and a constant assurance in the redzone. Oh, and of course he never missed a PAT. Not one.
Now, Rodrigo Blankenship is headed off to Indianapolis as a free agent after not having been drafted.
"Blankenship finished his career as Georgia’s all-time leading scorer and won the 2019 Lou Groza Award, given to the nation’s top placekicker. He became the first Georgia kicker to ever win the award. Blankenship also broke the SEC record with 198 consecutive extra points scored." Jordan Reid
At the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, he nailed a 55-yard field goal. Though he's not known for the Kevin Butler, 60-yard bomber of a leg, Blankenship has proven to be deadly accurate from within 50-yards. You'll rarely have to worry about him missing a 35-yard extra point. That type of dependability has been valued through NFL Draft capital since the league pushed back the PATs at the beginning of the 2015 season.
That's what Rodrigo Blankenship was at Georgia. The model of consistency. Every field goal attempt, post-game interview, or practice, he was the same guy with the same smile and genuine goodness about him. He will always be a Beloved Bulldog. If you've had the privilege of partaking in a Saturday in Athens over the past four seasons you recognize, and will forever remember, the roar from those draped in Red & Black when Rodrigo Blankenship's name was announced in the starting lineup. Once Hot Rod took over the job following the third game of his redshirt freshman season, it was over.
Whether it was doing the interviews with his helmet and Specs on following a game-winner against Kentucky in 2016, or the scholarship moment in the locker room — "Hey Rod, tell 'em what I told you on Friday" — following the win over Notre Dame in 2017.
Lord knows you can't forget the 55-yard field goal as time expired in the first half of the Rose Bowl. During times of doubt and desperation within Georgia's redzone offense over the years, a "Thank God we've got Rodrigo" has been said countless times even from Kirby Smart himself.
And he's not just an accurate field goal kicker, he rarely allows a return on kickoffs as well. That's something that former Bulldog Kevin Butler has helped him with during his time at Georgia. Telling the New York Post, "He's come along way, he lost the job to another kicker, William Ham, during training camp [in 2016] because he was inconsistent. And after the third game, William went into the tank and Rod went out there and he just started to mature."