Rodrigo Blankenship was just an inexpensive Free Agent signing for the Indianapolis Colts starting his rookie year. Blankenship was not one of the 7 Georgia Bulldogs selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. With the Colts losing their all-time great kicker Adam Vinatieri, it means there are some big shoes to fill in Indy. Vinatieri, the all-time leading scorer in the NFL with 2,673 points scored and 599 field goals made, has himself a first ballot Hall of Famer. The Colts surely didn’t think they would find a replacement for the 4 time Super Bowl Champion so soon but Indianapolis might be in for a surprise!
Blankenship grew up being a soccer player but started kicking footballs at the age of 10 years old. When he got to high school he was ranked the 9th best kicker in the country according to 247sports.com. He also played in the 2014-2015 Army All-American Bowl for the best high school football players in the country. He participated in the Cobb Senior Bowl and got many other accolades during his senior season in the fall of 2014. Blankenship was named Reigon 7 AAAA first team kicker and punter. He also earned the title of being on the first team All American to Prokicker.com. He finished his high school career with 142 extra points, 35 field goals, which is a total of 247 points that Rodrigo is responsible for during his freshman year at Walton and 3 years at Sprayberry High School.
February 4th, 2015, Rodrigo Blankenship signed his letter of intent to attend University of Georgia and walk on to be a part of their football team by being their kicker. Blankenship visited Mississippi State Bulldogs also but being from Marietta, Georgia, it just sounded too sweet that Rodrigo’s home was only 34 minutes away. The Georgia native redshirted his freshman year but had a very successful college career being a Bulldog in the SEC. Rodrigo lead the SEC his junior year in extra point attempts and conversions and in his senior year he lead the SEC in Field Goal attempts and conversions. He ended scoring 440 points in 4 years at Georgia. Blankenship went 200/200 on extra point attempts in college and 80/97 in 53 games played, finishing with an 82.5% field goal percentage. He ended up being named the All-SEC second team.
The Colts signed Rodrigo Blankenship on April 29th, 2020, as one of the 10 free agents that were not selected in the draft. His first game he was the starting kicker when they lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20. Blankenship did have a very good rookie debut going 2/2 on extra points and 2/3 on field goals. Through 10 games played in the blue and white, Rodrigo is 23/26 on field goals and 25/27 on extra points. He has an impressive stat where he is 8/9 on 40-49 yard field goal attempts and is responsible for 94 points, which is tied for 2nd most in the league. Indianapolis is currently 7-3 and tied for 1st place in the AFC South Division.
Rodrigo Blankenship has became a household name referred to as “Hot Rod” through Bulldog nation. Being called “Hot Rod” was pushed on him from his mom his sophomore year of high school, but the fans really caught on to it his senior year. After hitting the game winner as one of his four field goals against Kentucky, he became the man on campus getting interviews after games and giving the Rec Specs the national attention. Ever since tweeting out a picture of himself and Quavo from the Migos, the hashtag #RespectTheSpecs got the media attention it deserves. After the game winner against Green Bay on Sunday, I hope Blankenship can hang around the NFL so we can look forward to seeing the Specs every Sunday!