University of Georgia senior placekicker Rodrigo Blankenship took home the 2019 Lou Groza Award at the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards held at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta on Thursday night.
Along with Blankenship, Iowa’s Keith Duncan and Washington State’s Blake Mazza made up the three finalists for this year’s Lou Groza Award. On the year, Blankenship made 25 of 31 field goal attempts and was a perfect 44 of 44 on PATs. On kickoffs, 60 of Blankenship’s 79 went for touchbacks.
In addition to the Lou Groza Award, Blankenship has been racking up the accolades. Rodrigo was named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week no less than six times this season and was named to the 2019 Coaches All-SEC First-Team. He was named a 2019 CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American, earning one of the National Football Foundation (NFF) National Scholar-Athlete Awards and was a Campbell Trophy finalist as well as the Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Blankenship, or affectionately also known as “Hot Rod,” came to the University of Georgia as a walk-on in 2015 out of Sprayberry High School in Marietta, GA. He redshirted and then won placekicking duties the following year in 2016 by the fourth game of the season where, when all was said and done, he was named to the SEC All-Freshman team. “Hot Rod” never looked back. In 2017, before Georgia’s second game of the year versus Notre Dame, Rodrigo was awarded a full athletic scholarship. In 55 games from 2016-19, Blankenship has made 78 of his 95 field goal attempts and all 198 PAT attempts, which is second in Southeastern Conference history. Blankenship is UGA’s all-time leading scorer with 432 points, also second in conference history.
“Hot Rod” graduated last December cum laude with a degree in Digital and Broadcast Journalism and has one more college football game left to put on the red and black for the University of Georgia when the Bulldogs take on the Baylor Bears in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 2020 in New Orleans, LA.