Kickers. You can’t live with ’em and you can’t live without ’em.

Poor ol’ Kirby.

Rodrigo Blankenship wasn’t a typical walk-on kicker. He made the U.S. Army All-American game. One outlet ranked him as the nation’s seventh-best prospect in the 2015 class. He passed on scholarships to smaller schools, including Colorado State, in order to walk on at Georgia, which hoped Blankenship could sit a year, win the place-kicker job, and go on scholarship.

Three games into the season, Blankenship has yet to try a field goal or an extra point. He lost out to another walk-on, William Ham, who is struggling immensely, going 2-for-5.

“They’ve got competition between each other, and that will continue,” head coach Kirby Smart said Monday, somewhat wearily.

Now there’s a shocker.

This past signing day, Smart said that “in my history, I found that you can find more quality kickers through the walk-on route than you can quality punters.” That’s why they signed Marshall Long, who had committed to Virginia Tech, where Shane Beamer was before coming to Georgia as special-teams coordinator.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean a policy against signing kickers to scholarships, as Smart clarified this week. The reason they didn’t sign any this year was that “when I got here this year every good kicker that I knew from recruiting was going to sign somewhere.” (Or, since Long had been committed to another school, Smart and Beamer just weren’t able to also flip a place-kicker.)

“We’re going to always go in and recruit kickers. It’s a matter of whether we’re going to commit a scholarship to it or not,” Smart said. “That is not a policy by any means. I firmly believe that you’ve got to have a great kicker.”

Except this year.



Filed under Georgia Football

21 responses to “Kickers. You can’t live with ’em and you can’t live without ’em.

  1. aladawg

    There’s this pattern of stubbornness I’m seeing…………..Make a change; LT and kicker before there is a real disaster(i.e. causing a game loss or an injury to Eason on a blindside shot). The changes couldn’t be any worse………


  2. sUGArdaddy

    Yes, put the guy that’s worse in practice in and try him! -says sports fan.

    We’re playing the best guys we got, which is scary. Here’s hoping William gets some confidence and puts ’em through, maybe when we need one most. He nailed a pressure kick vs. UNC. He’s also hit some good that were long but a little wide. He’s got a good leg. I believe it’s mental right now. Let’s cheer for him!


  3. I think the real question is… How bad must Blankenship be practicing? Sheesh. I’ve never even seen a HS kicker duckhook the ball as consistently as Ham does.


  4. Scorpio Jones, III

    So what we are being told is that “all the good ones were gone when we got here,” and the old boss didn’t leave us anybody who was worth a damn.

    I take this to mean the staff is out there beating the bushes right this very minute for a kicker…or are the good ones already gone?

    It appears to me that there is nobody on the staff, or in the available…ah…special support staff, that can help either of these guys become a decent college kicker…or am I missing something?


  5. Dave

    Biggest issue, I believe, is that Ham was/is drilling them in practice. I’ve heard conflicting reports, but Kirby has said, “you make ’em in practice, go make ’em in a game,” to paraphrase. Now, obviously one or two bad games don’t necessitate a change, but as you get to a third and see no improvement, now you’ve got to consider a change for change’s sake, at least at the kicker position where it’s a black or white result each time.

    My guess would be he gets one miss in the Ole Miss game before they give Blankenship a shot.


  6. HVL Dawg

    Maybe Kirby shouldn’t let freshmen coaches speak to the media.


  7. Macallanlover

    So, we have two head-case place kickers….nice, what are the chances? We should never have laughed at FU having school tryouts last year. This shouldn’t be this big a problem to solve, assume Butler is on it. Stop looking at young coeds Kevin and get to the soccer fields!


  8. I don’t see how Blankenship could possibly be worse. I’ve never seen such terrible looking kicks than I have from Ham. I seriously clinch every time he attempts a PAT. Those aren’t even automatic anymore. They look like hey barely end up between the uprights.



    Just go for it…