Rodrigo Blankenship's goal for the 2018 season? Make every kick he attempts
The man known as Hot Rod has some lofty goals for the upcoming season.
Coming off a career season, Rodrigo Blankenship not only earned a scholarship from Kirby Smart but nearly helped the Bulldogs win the national championship last fall. After making 20 of 23 field goals and all 63 extra points he attempted in 2017, Georgia’s kicker says he’s been studying arguably the best kicker in the world to help him improve his game.
“For the last few weeks, I’ve been studying Greg Zuerlein, the kicker for the Rams,” Blankenship said during his Thursday media availability. “I believe he had the best field goal percentage in the league last year — he was something like 38 of 40. Incredible year, he and Johnny Hekker (Rams punter) both went to the Pro Bowl, so I’ve been studying him.”
Zuerlein did indeed make 38 of 40 field goals last season (95 percent) with a long of 56. Blankenship knows a thing or not about making long field goals when they matter most, as he successfully converted two field goals of over 50 yards in each of UGA’s Playoff games.
While he’s got the long ball down, Blankenship has set his eyes on a new goal heading into the 2018 season: make every kick he attempts.
“I didn’t make every kick I tried last year. That’s, of course, the goal,” Blankenship said, according to Jake Rowe of Dawgs247. “So if there’s something I can do to be more consistent kicking field goals, that’s something I’m going to look to do and if there’s a way I can be a better help on kickoff, I had some times last year when I didn’t kick it where I was supposed to, so if I can just work on myself and do the drills I need to do to be more consistent, that’s what I’m going to do.”
That’s setting the bar pretty high but it’s no surprise to see Kirby Smart’s specialists set their personal goals as high as they can be. That seems to be the expectations in Athens these days for everyone on the roster.