Rodrigo Blankenship - University of Georgia - Kicker

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

Rodrigo Blankenship, is one of the 9 Wuerffel Trophy semifinalists in 2019. Rodrigo graduated Cum Laude in December of 2018 and is currently working on his Master’s degree in Emerging Media. He is the 2019 Senior award winner for having the highest GPA.

A two-time Lou Groza Award semifinalist for the nation's top kicker, Rodrigo was named a 2018 AP and Coaches All-SEC Second Team member.  Also, he is a finalist for the prestigious 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by the National Football Foundation for the nation's top scholar athlete. He is currently #4 on UGA’s all-time scoring list.

As an AFCA Allstate Good Works Team member in 2018, Rodrigo continues his community support with Read Across America, Camp Sunshine, and Boys and Girls Club activities.


  • 3.71 GPA in Journalism

  • Graduated Cum Laude in Dec. 2018

  • 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District Team member

  • 2018 Billy Payne Award winner for graduating with at least a 3.0 GPA and being on the football team for four years

  • Member of 2016-2018 SEC Academic Honor Roll; Dean’s List for two semester and Athletic Director’s Honor Roll (every semester)

  • Winner of 2017 Sophomore GPA Award and 2019 Senior GPA Award after having the team’s top GPA after spring drills


  • Two-time Lou Groza Award semifinalist

  • 2018 AP and Coaches All-SEC Second Team

  • Hit a game winner in the 2017 contest at #24 Notre Dame to clinch the victory and was publicly awarded a scholarship by Coach Smart after the game

  • SEC Special Teams Player of the Week after the 2016 Kentucky, 2018 South Carolina, 2019 Vanderbilt and 2019 Notre Dame games

  • 2016 Freshman All-American (Football Writers Association of America – FWAA); Named to 2016 Freshman All-SEC Team; Redshirted in 2015 as one of the team’s walk-ons; Captain for 2018 Middle Tennessee State game.

No. 4 on Georgia's all-time scoring list with 358 points; Connected on a school record 175 consecutive PATs, which ranks No. 3 in SEC history; Second in NCAA in 2018 with 82 touchbacks out of 96 kickoffs, topping his own school record of 67 from 2017; No. 2 in SEC for kickers in 2017 with 123 pts. (third highest total kicking in UGA history); No. 3 in SEC for kickers in 2018 with 122 pts. (10th nationally for the season, fourth highest total kicking in UGA history); Set a Rose Bowl Game record with a career-long 55-yard field goal during the 2OT win over #2 Oklahoma to advance to the National Championship Game, later earned a spot on ESPN’s All-Bowl Team; Kicked a 51-yard field goal during the Bulldogs’ appearance in the 2018 National Championship game; Scored 17 points vs. Missouri in 2017 (second highest total kicking in UGA history); Hit first career game winner at Kentucky as a redshirt freshman in 2016.


  • AFCA “Good Works Team”– Named the American Football Coaches Association’s “Allstate Good Works Team” in 2018, one of 11 players from the NCAA’s FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) selected for the honor.

  • Smoke Detector project – In association with the American Red Cross of Northeast Georgia, helped install smoke detectors at homes in an Monroe, Ga. The annual Red Cross initiative was held in Monroe following the death of Quentin Moses, a former Georgia All-American and member of the 2006 AFCA Good Works Team, in a house fire in that community

  • First Fridays Family Days – Took part in the event attended by more than 500 individuals at the East Athens Community Center in association with the start of the school year. The evening featured a DJ, inflatables, an ice cream truck, back-to-school haircuts, basketball and other activities in addition to a catered dinner. At the conclusion of the event, 300 elementary-aged children received Nike book bags

  • “Empty Bowl” Luncheon – Hand-painted ceramic bowls that were later part of a silent auction at a luncheon sponsored by the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia’s event to raise funds to feed needy children, families and seniors throughout northeast Georgia

  • Read Across America – Visited local school children as part of the national program where civic groups and community leaders volunteer their time to read a story to young students to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Seuss

  • UGA Retirement Celebration – Volunteered to attend the retirement celebration for a 30-year University of Georgia staff member as a “surprise celebrity guest”

  • Boys & Girls Club Banquet Speaker – Spoke at the Boys & Girls Club of Winder-Barrow annual awards banquet

  • Marietta School Speaker – Served as a guest speaker at Powers Ferry and Rocky Mount Elementary Schools in his hometown of Marietta, Georgia, during his Spring Break in 2017

  • “No More” Spokesperson – Participated in the UGA SAAC’s production of a “No More” public service announcement against domestic violence and sexual assault

  • Madison County Food Bank – Attended a day-long fundraiser for the Food Bank that included a 5K, silent auction and car show featuring antique and classic vehicles

  • Camp Sunshine visitation – Member of a group that visited Camp Sunshine, which provides recreational, educational and support programs for children with cancer and their families

  • Home Runs for Hometown Rivals – Participated in the softball game at UGA’s Foley Field for Special Olympians. Volunteers were paired with a Special Olympics athlete, assisted the athletes with their pre-game meal and then spent time with the athlete in the dugout, at bat and running the bases

  • Hospital Visitations – Visited patients at both Athens’ St. Mary’s Hospital and the Children’s Health Care and Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital facilities in Atlanta

  • “Hunger Bowl” Competition – Helped with collections for the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia’s “Hunger Bowl” – a friendly community wide competition to see who can collect the most food based upon a per person average

  • Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer Golf Tournament – Participated in tourney designed to raise awareness and money for research for a cure to breast cancer. The event began following the diagnosis of Teresa Abbott, mother of UGA player Chris Abbott

  • Extra Special People – Following football practices, visited with members of Extra Special People, an organization assisting individuals with developmental disabilities and their families

  • Athens/Clarke County School Speaker – Visited Barrow, Whit Davis and Stroud Elementary Schools in Athens/Clarke County to talk about the value of an education and making responsible decisions

  • UGA L.E.A.D. Member – Inducted into the UGA Athletic Association’s Leadership Education and Development (L.E.A.D.) program in 2015. L.E.A.D. is designed to encourage leadership development in UGA’s high-achieving and most-promising student-athletes.

"Rodrigo is an individual who seeks out community service opportunities rather than shying away from them or dodging them.  His dedication to the many charities and groups that he works with is unparalleled and provides an ideal example for his fellow teammates as well as other student-athletes at the University of Georgia."


Why was the Wuerffel Trophy created?  We felt that there was a void in major college football awards. Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel put it best when he wrote, “The Wuerffel. It’s about time. There’s an award for the best quarterback, best running back, wide receiver, best linebacker, best center and even best kicker and punter. Why not one for the best human being?”


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