Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Rodrigo Blankenship A Wuerffel Trophy Semifinalist

UGA Sports Communications

Georgia senior place-kicker Rodrigo Blankenship has been named one of nine semifinalists for the 2019 Wuerffel Trophy, which is described as college football’s premier award for community service.

Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel, the Wuerffel Trophy has honored players who excel in community service since 2005. Finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 18. The formal announcement of the Wuerffel Trophy recipient is scheduled to be made on Dec. 10 at the annual National Football Foundation (NFF) banquet in New York City.

The winner will be invited to attend The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on ESPNU and ESPN3 on Dec. 12 airing at 6 p.m., featuring interviews with award winners and finalists as they approach the College Football Awards Show at the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta. The presentation of the 2019 Wuerffel Trophy will occur at the 51st Annual All Sports Association Awards Banquet on Feb. 7, 2020, in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Blankenship, a native of Marietta, was recently named a recipient of the NFF Scholar-Athlete Award and a finalist for the Campbell Trophy for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership. On Tuesday, he was also included as a nominee for the Burlsworth Trophy, which honors players who started their career as walk-ons.

Blankenship is one of four semifinalists for the Wuerffel Trophy from the Southeastern Conference and the only kicker on the list. The 2018 Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team member and 2018 SEC Community Service Team member has been just as exceptional away from the field as he has been on the field.

A former walk-on who earned a 2018 UGA undergraduate degree, Blankenship is a member of the UGA Athletic Association's Leadership Academy (L.E.A.D.) and has given his time to the following activities and many more: spokesperson for "No More," which is a public service announcement against domestic violence and sexual assault; visitation at Camp Sunshine, which is a camp that provides support programs for children with cancer and their families; volunteer for the "Empty Bowl" luncheon, which is a luncheon sponsored by the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia where hand-painted ceramic bowls done by the football players were part of a silent auction to raise funds for needy families; and volunteer for the Home Runs for Hometown Rivals, which is a softball game at UGA's Foley Field for Special Olympians.

On the field, the 2019 CBS Sports/Athlon Midseason All-American is second in the league in scoring this year, averaging 9.5 points per game and has connected on 15-of-17 field goal attempts and all 31 of his PATs. The four-time 2019 SEC Special Teams Player of the Week has drilled three 50-yard field goals during his team’s 7-1 start and is the FBS active leader by 12 with a total of 68 made field goals.

A two-time Lou Groza Award semifinalist, Blankenship has connected on a school record 185 consecutive PATs, which ranks second in SEC history. Thanks in large part to his contribution, Georgia leads the nation with 276 PATs in a row dating back to 2014.

Blankenship graduated Cum Laude (3.71 GPA) in December 2018 with a degree in Digital and Broadcast Journalism. He is currently enrolled in a Journalism Master’s program and has a 3.65 GPA. The 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District selection was a 2018 winner of the Billy Payne Award for graduating with at least a 3.0 GPA and being on the football team for four years.

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