The competition to replace Rodrigo Blankenship, one of the Dawgs’ most popular players ever, is going down to the wire. Coach Kirby Smart addressed the competition between Jared Zirkel and Jack Podlesny during his Monday press conference.
Zirkel is a freshman from Texas, while Podlesny is a redshirt sophomore from Saint Simons. Smart evaluated the competition by saying:
“The field goal and kickoff job has been a battle between [Jared] Zirkel and [Jack] Podlesny, mostly. As those two guys continue to compete, it’ll probably go down to the wire as far as Podlesny and Zirkel who kicks.”
“Pod and Zirkel are the two really competing for the kick-off job. Pod has consistently had better hang, but Zirkel has had good hits. Hangtime is a big part of that, and Pod has won the hang time and depth battle when it comes to that. As far as field goal kicking, they were pretty similar Saturday. Zirkel might have been one percentage point or two percentage points better than Pod. Pod’s had a little better percentage over the body of work.”
With less than 2 weeks before the season opener against Arkansas, Georgia’s placekicking competition is still being decided. However, Kirby did confirm that the Glynn Academy graduate, Podlesny, has pulled slightly ahead in this battle. Of course, either candidate will have some big shoes to fill this fall.