Shut up, dad.

The debate raging in the comments section yesterday in reaction to Ken Blankenship’s cri de coeur about Kirby Smart’s nefarious plot to deny his son a full scholarship left out one part of the puzzle — where Rodrigo himself stood in the situation.  That was certainly by design, as Ken made it clear he was speaking only for himself and his wife, while Kirby wasn’t speaking publicly at all.

Well, now the kicker, or, I should say, The Kicker has weighed in.

After being a constant source of speculation, Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship shared his thoughts on the season and the controversy regarding whether or not he deserves a a scholarship.

In a lengthy message posted via Blankenship’s Twitter account, the redshirt freshman kicker did not state whether or not he deserved a scholarship, as Blankenship deemed his opinion on the matter “irrelevant.”

Lengthy is right, but the gist of what he wrote can be found in three sentences.

… It is evident Georgia deserved better than what I was able to offer this season, and I would like to apologize for my clearly-defined deficiencies. I would also like to apologize for my father’s interactions with the media this season. He acted without my knowledge each time, and each incident was uncalled for.

The tone and message of the first line there comes off very differently in conjunction with what follows in the next two.  The latter is an unambiguous disavowal by a son of his father’s tactics.  The former, though, is something quite unlike that.  Do you take it as a straightforward critique of his season in support of his head coach’s decision not to extend a full scholarship at present?  Or is it a subtle passive-aggressive piece of snark offered up to mock that decision?

Your guess is as good as mine (and probably Kirby Smart’s), which actually makes it kind of brilliant.

Does it serve to calm the waters?  With regard to the football program, it’ll probably be taken that way.  But as far as Ken Blankenship goes, he doesn’t exactly strike me as the kind of guy who’s interested in taking anyone’s advice, including his son’s.  I don’t expect the kvetching to be done just yet.  After all, it’s not signing day and what better time to seek a little more attention over injustice?

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149 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

149 responses to “Shut up, dad.

  1. Jared S.

    I really like this kid.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thetruth

    This kid deserves a scholarship. Georgia has plenty of players on scholarship that have contributed nothing and in many cases a lot less to the team than Blankenship.
    Blankenship Sr. looks bad here but, Kirby looks bad too. He and his staff better do more than recruit well or they will lose their scholarships, which by the way weren’t earned with the shitty coaching performed last year.

    Like

    • Kirby looks bad because you think Blankenship deserves a scholly? LOL.

      I’m sure he’ll take that under advisement.

      Hey, while you’re at it, why not name all the kids on scholarship who aren’t pulling their weight? I’m sure he’d like that information, too.

      Like

      • Russ

        No, Kirby looks bad for spelling out all the deficiencies of the All-SEC Freshman kicker, assuming Dad is reporting it correctly.

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        • You know what happens when you assume.

          But, for the sake of argument, taking it as true, if Ken’s as big an ass in private as he appears to be in public, I’m not sure I’d blame Kirby much for taking a harsh tack in their face-to-face. Although I’m pretty sure he would have proceeded differently if he’d known Mr. Blankenship would go to the media with it.

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          • Isn’t it a paradox if Kirby is that big of a jerk that Nick and Sony and Lorenzo and Davin and Sanders all decided to ply for him a other year? Not to mention all the top flight recruits he’s pulling?

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            • But they’re getting scholarships! 😉

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              • Sherlock

                It isn’t about the scholarship, per se; it is about the “financial hardship” that is unduly put on a family where the breadwinner decided to retire early even though he still had a son to put through college. Do you really think a government employee should have to keep working for a couple of extra years to pay for things they want? That is basically slavery.

                Those other parents are still working so there isn’t a financial hardship… even the single mothers working three jobs and just scraping by.

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          • Russ

            Look, Dad is wrong. Full stop.

            But even if in private Kirby goes into details about the kid’s deficiencies (and Rod obviously has heard this, per his tweet), then that’s not a very good way to motivate him to continue to improve. And he’s improved a lot.

            85 scholarships are available. That’s the entire 3 deep on both sides of the ball, plus most of the 4 deep. You mean to say that a kicker and punter are less valuable than the 4th string safety or guard? I wouldn’t think so, but that’s like, my opinion.

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            • You mean to say that a kicker and punter are less valuable than the 4th string safety or guard?

              I can think of any number of punters and kickers at Georgia over the last fifteen years who played without scholarships and contributed. It’s not exactly a new thing.

              But using your example for a minute, you think Kirby should yank a scholly from a 4th stringer (assuming that’s a real thing) and give it to Blankenship because his dad showed his ass in public? (And that’s what it would be, because it’s clear that he’d already made the decision not to offer it down the recruiting home stretch.) If he does, what does he tell that kid’s parents when they come calling?

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              • Russ

                No, Kirby’s hand has been forced now by Dad. All this will have to settle down before Rodrigo could be offered a scholarship, if that’s even possible now. However, before it got to all of this, I think he should have been on scholarship, or Kirby should have been pursuing XXX from wherever for a kicking scholarship. Bottom line, I think a top kicker should be on scholarship. YMMV.

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              • Cosmic Dawg

                Yes that’s what it is. Kirby would never dream of going back on his word or pushing a kid out the door to give another kid a scholarship would he? Not holding back a scholarship to take care of an all-sec contributor is bad roster Management in my opinion especially if the Walk-Ons were playing under the assumption that if they crushed it they might actually get a scholarship.

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          • gastr1

            You might not blame Kirby much, Senator, but I bet the media will take the side of the talented student-athlete if it gets any larger.

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            • Everybody loves a good story. I doubt Kirby caves because of media attention, though.

              What do you want to bet that even if you’re right, it melts away should Smart sign the greatest recruiting class in program history?

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              • gastr1

                I guess I’d liken it to the Maurice Smith story. Person in position of authority denies obvious fair treatment of worker-bee/student-athlete? Hmm. Not sure that went away for Saban until he gave in.

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                • He can’t give in. If he does, every time a kid has a gripe the parents will go to the media because it worked this time. At this point, I wouldn’t give ‘drigo a scholarship out of spite.

                  I would, however, quietly scour all of the Alumni and University non-athletic scholarships for one that he could qualify for though. I think our company gives one to whoever writes the best essay. That is pretty subjective–surely there is something like that out there.

                  This way, Kirby sticks to his guns, kid gets college paid for, AND it gets dad to stfu.

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          • HVL Dawg

            “though I’m pretty sure he would have proceeded differently if he’d known Mr. Blankenship would go to the media with it.”

            What might have been Kirby’s first clue that Dad was going to go hostile in the press? Maybe, that he already did once before to significant affect?

            C’mon man!

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      • Thetruth

        While you’re laughing, take a honest look at the roster and ask yourself, “have I ever heard of this player?” I didn’t say that any player was not pulling his weight, whatever that means to you. If you reread I said contribution as in on the field.
        If you think daddy and I are the only ones who think Kirby looks bad then you need to get out from behind your keyboard more often.
        I don’t think Kirby gives a shit what I think or the rest of us internet coaches. That doesn’t mean we can’t have an opinion different than his.
        BTW, my opinion is that Blankenship did more to earn a scholarship than Kirby and his staff did to earn their salaries.

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        • SAtowndawg

          there’s three to four offensive linemen on the roster who will never see the field…

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          • May not be on the roster much longer, for that matter.

            Recruiting is in a real state of flux right now, which is why Dad should have kept things to himself for a while longer.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Macallanlover

              And that is the key point to me, it seems very likely a scholarship will become available by summer, and after recruiting has basically closed. Ken misplayed this badly, both operationally and timing wise. And if I were Kirby, I would need more convincing than ever after this last media fiasco. Hate to punish the kid for the sins of the father, but this needs to be used as a case where parents begin to understand it is between the athletes and the staff, they are adults at this point.

              Liked by 1 person

              • anon

                That was my thought. Just because one is not available right now doesn’t mean one want be available for fall semester ….or am I missing something? As far as we know there could be a few more recruits that could commit. I trust Kirby on this one.

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            • Exactly. There are pretty obvious signs that there is about to be real roster shake up. He should have just kept his mouth shut.

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        • I don’t think Kirby gives a shit what I think or the rest of us internet coaches. That doesn’t mean we can’t have an opinion different than his.

          No argument with either of those statements. Those plus five bucks will get you a latte at Starbucks.

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        • Sanford222view

          There maybe players that haven’t contributed as much as Blankenship but those players were offered scholarships in the first place by either Richt or Kirby. Blankenship was not and I don’t think you should yank one from someone who came to UGA because of that scholarship offer to give it to someone that is a walk-on. He and his father knew there was no guarantee he would get one once enrolled. I hope he gets one eventually but Ken is handling this all wrong for his son.

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          • Well said … I think if Kirby had come out and said something like the following, this fire storm would have never happened:
            “Mr. Blankenship, I appreciate the contributions Rodrigo made during the 2016 season both on and off the field. I also understand your concern for your son and your family’s finances, but I cannot offer your son a scholarship right now because of the NCAA’s hard cap on numbers. The program has other priorities right now, and the currently free scholarships need to go to athletes who can fill immediate needs elsewhere to make the whole team better. I want Rodrigo to continue to work with one of the best placekickers of all time and our strength staff to improve both his leg strength and technique. I anticipate further attrition on the roster before next season. While I can’t guarantee your son a scholarship in the future, I will do everything I can to balance your son’s needs with the program’s needs. If this isn’t sufficient for you or your son, I understand the decision your family may need to make regarding your son’s education, and I will allow Rodrigo to transfer to the school of his choice with no restrictions.”

            Liked by 1 person

      • Tommy Miller

        This entire discussion encroaches on a father and son matter. No one else’s business. Blutarsky, you liiberal jerk, butt out!

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      • Cosmic Dawg

        wtf with this response, Senator? can you seriously not see how Smart also looks bad in this? Or in the other ways he’s handling “roster management”?

        Like

    • Hey, maybe let the coaching staff get a full roster of their own players?

      I promise you, if Kirby goes 8-5 with a team full of guys that he had the final word on, he will get rightfully roasted.

      Until then, it’s just too early to tell.

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      • Thetruth

        So we didn’t have good enough players to beat Vandy and Tech?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Didn’t say that, don’t believe that, didn’t imply that.

          That said, we lost to both Vandy and Tech within the last 3 years. What’s your explanation for those?

          We’re not some much more talented than anyone we play that we can win while making bad mistakes. That’s true for about 95% of teams these days.

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        • Funny you say that. Didn’t The Kicker miss one against Tech?

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          • Thetruth

            Didn’t he make FGs to beat Ky and Auburn? And, I don’t think he was on the field when Tech drove 95 yards to win the game. I don’t think the coaches ask him if they should hand the ball off to a 175 pound scatback to make 1 yard against Vandy when you have two of the best backs in the SEC.

            Like

  3. HVL Dawg

    The off-season can still be fun!

    Like

  4. Everyone seems to understand how this game is play except Ken. If Kirby has a scholarship after signing day and the attrition that follows and still doesn’t hook Hot Rod up, then we can have another discussion.

    As it is now, it seems like Old Man Blankenship is bent out of shape because his shakedown in public didn’t work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Macallanlover

      I also think a scholly for him was forthcoming once the dust settles on incoming/outgoing players. KS had already said there would be no mid-term scholarships for football, and the Old Man had already had his say in November. Definitely looks like a case of Psycho Dad getting out of control and totally tone deaf on how this looks, or how it is impacting his son. Ken actually seems to think he is going to cause a rebellion over his son’s perceived rock star status. Sad that his friends didn’t sit him down and have an intervention after the first media screw up.

      Ken may have now backed Kirby into a corner where an example must be made. I feel sorry for Rodrigo, his dad has made a fool of himself in a very public way, and put Rodrigo in am uncomfortable position. Everyone looks bad right now, and will after this is over. I feel the scholarship we all think was promised should have been honored, but now I am OK with it not being issued due to both this tragic strategy, and the ho-hum performance by Rodrigo. Hate it for him, I am sure this isn’t the first time Hot Rod would have liked for the Old Man to button his lip.

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      • JarvisCrowell

        Rod seems like a real good kid, and I hope we can find the roster space to give him a scholarship after signing day. That was always going to be the only way he was getting one though. Kirby is not gonna miss out on another elite D lineman or whatever bc he locked up Rod after the bowl. I agree that his dad may have screwed Rod over by forcing Kirby to show that he’s not gonna be bullied by a player’s parent.

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      • MLB2

        Excellent post, Mac.

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      • “Hot Rod” and “Old Man” lol
        Spot on post Mac.

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      • Uglydawg

        If he’d never worn those glasses to the post game interview, we wouldn’t have this situation. When the kid gained fame…as much for the glasses as the kick, it went to Papa’s head…He sees his kid as a rock-star…but there is also a financial component in it. Can’t blame them for seeking a scholarship, but what a crazy way of trying to get it.
        Mostly, I feel sorry for the damage that will probably be done to the family’s relationships. Rodrigo is rightfully embarrassed, and now he has spoken out against his father..which has to hurt.

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    • PTC DAWG

      Correct.

      Like

  5. playmakers in space

    http://www.rodrigoblankenship.com/soccer-2015/

    Old Man Blankenship is looney tunes.

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  6. The kid is smart as a whip. I imagine Kirby is thinking that he wishes he had 85 guys with the common sense that Rodrigo has demonstrated through this whole episode.

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  7. Dawgholio

    Question: If Rodrigo gets a scholarship now that means one of the big fish Kirby is after in this talented recruiting class does not. Is that a fair trade for Georgia fans? The scholarship has to come at the expense of someone else. Kirby does not recruit like Richt and leave unused scholarships.

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    • lakedawg

      Kirby does not realize either how many games he could lose if Rod decided he was more valuable somewhere else.

      Like

    • Russ

      Said this up above, but 85 scholarships equates to nearly 4 deep on both sides of the ball. I’d think a kicker and punter would be worth more than a 4th string safety or guard.

      Like

  8. Linda

    “Smart as a whip!”. Love the Clark Kent look.

    Like

  9. DawgPhan

    meh to the letter. I suspect it is always better to keep your mouth shut.

    It seems like there was some miscommunication. It seems like the dad believes that UGA offered his son a scholarship. Did they suggest that could give the kicker a scholarship? Confused as to why the dad feels so strongly that his son is owed a scholarship?

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    • There’s a pretty strong indication out there that Richt promised Blankenship would be put on scholarship after Morgan left. Unfortunately for Ken, Richt’s gone.

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      • Normaltown Mike

        GET OVER IT!!! YOUR SAINTED HOLY COACH IS GONE PLUS HE WAS NEVER GONNA WINA CHAMPINSHIP!!!

        😉

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      • DawgPhan

        Gotcha. Tough situation. Players commit to a school. I guess the school doesnt commit to them?

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        • You think that a new coach should be bound by all the promises made by the outgoing coach? Really?

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          • DawgPhan

            I think that there is a hypocrisy with the schools and coaches saying that when a recruit is committed to a school and there is a coaching change that the player really committed to the school and not the coach. But should a school change coaches, the school made no commitments, the coach made the commitment.

            I get it is a business decision or whatever and it’s Kirby’s to make. He catches a little heat for it, so what, it comes with the job. It’s just another decision where the coaches/schools have all the leverage and the players have none.

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            • Let’s say for the sake of argument that the next Justin Thomas commits and signs with Georgia Tech because Paul Johnson promised him he would be a starting QB in the triple option. A week later, Johnson quits the program and Tech’s AD hires an Air Raid disciple as his replacement. Does the new coach have to stick with the triple option because of Johnson’s promise? After all, that’s why neo-Thomas signed.

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              • Uglydawg

                Thats a different argument….and you’re position seems contrary to the player causes you have stood up for previously. Changing coaches will change strategies and systems..we saw it this year, didn’t we? How would we have felt if KS had yanked the scholarships of all the kids that don’t fit the road-grader system? A young person invests time, effort, and emotion in a school…not just the football program. The school should either honor scholarships (unless the kid breaks the rules) or give kids free-agency. DawgPhan raises a valid point.

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                • How is it a different argument? Either you argue a coach is bound by the promises of his predecessor, or he’s not. Why does the nature of the promise matter?

                  You assume this is a personal issue, but to me Smart is saying he puts a lesser value on schollies for kickers than Richt did. That’s strategy in my book — and I think it’s something Smart actually talked about last January when he was putting his first class together.

                  We’re not talking about a school honoring a scholarship here, either. Blankenship doesn’t have one and never has had one.

                  Like

                  • Uglydawg

                    Don’t believe it’s personal…It just seems like right and wrong to me.
                    If that same kid that CPJ gave a scholarship to wanted to transfer Clemson, the new coach would almost certainly deny the transfer. .even though the original agreement for him to play at GT was made with the former coach. There would be no..”the agreement that you play for GT went out the door with PJ”. Looks like a one way door..What makes it worse is that a kid spends a couple of years investing himself in a program and then can be told “you”re on your own”. That’s understandable if he hasn’t done his part, but if he’s just guilty of not being as good or useful as the earlier coach had though, you can kick him off the team.
                    When we watch an All-Star game, players are recognized for the school they played for….not the coach.

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                    • Uglydawg

                      Although, I’m NOT arguing that Rodrigo be given a scholarship..I don’t know enough about the situation to have a real opinion. Seems like a great kid and I hope he manages to get one…
                      He’s trying to walk a tightrope because he obviously wants to stay at the school where he is established..academically, socially and athletically…which is more evidence of the harm that’s done to a kid when a school changes courses and leaves him behind…He’s trying to avoid that and doesn’t appreciate he father’s issuing of veiled ultimatums for which he would suffer if followed.

                      Like

                    • I must have missed where Blankenship is being kicked off the team. And since he’s already said he’s not leaving school, the rest of your hypothetical is moot.

                      Like

              • He really, really has it out for Kirby and is going to bitch about every single thing the program does.

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          • Dawgy1

            No a new coach shouldn’t be bound by the previous coach’s promises.
            On the other hand do you think scholarships be awarded on merit and not withheld and given to an unproven 4-star high schooler instead?

            Like

            • I think promises made should be kept by the party who made them. Lying is wrong; breaking your word is wrong. The rest is up to the coach’s discretion. If his judgment is bad, ultimately that will have consequences.

              Liked by 1 person

  10. Dave

    The bottom line is that we have no idea what R-Blank was told when he decided to walk on. If a scholarship was discussed at all, I have to believe it was never anything more than, “If you contribute significantly, then maybe we’ll put you on scholarship down the road.” Nothing more. It was his choice to walk on without a scholarship. To that end, you don’t put him on scholarship unless you’re truly able. Given the state of the program and the rebuilding going on in the recruiting ranks, now is not the best time. If that burns some bridges w/ future walk-ons, then so be it. If a 3rd string special teamer who hasn’t seen the field in 3 years wants to give up his scholarship for Rodrigo, then so be it. I somehow don’t see that happening, but that ain’t Kirby’s fault.

    Like

  11. Cpark58

    I hope Kirby can find a way to get the kid a scholarship in the next year while shutting his father down. If not, I’d settle for just shutting Pops down and having a GA attend every UGA, Kennesaw, Gainesville, Truett Mconnell and Young Harris soccer practice to look for a rich highschool hero riding the pine to repurpose into a kicker, a la Happy Gilmore.

    I respect Ken Blankenship’s right to express his opinion in whatever manner, however so tacky, but I also respect Kirby’s right to run the program as he sees fit.

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  12. JarvisCrowell

    Kirby didn’t promise Rod anything scholarship-wise, and fortunately this situation is the result of our fantastic success on the recruiting trail so far. We have the potential to flip 4/5* recruits left and right, and Kirb would be crazy to give away any spots before we’ve seen what we can get. We’re already running into issues of turning away great players bc we already have so many great players. Forget the name but there’s a 4* Olineman who is considering flipping, but the problem is we already have 6 good ones in this class. That’s an awesome place to be recruiting-wise.
    Long story short, Daddy Blank is an asshole and possibly ruined any chance of Rod getting a scholarship.

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  13. Normaltown Mike

    All things being equal, if the Real Butthead knows how to impart some kicking technique and continue to help Rod polish his craft, he’s learning how to be an NFL kicker and there’s no reason in hell to leave in the midst of that education.

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    • Russ

      +100 Blankenship showed real improvement once Butthead got hold of him. Assuming Rodrigo can stay after all this, his future seems bright.

      Like

    • Just Chuck (the other one)

      And if he can do it with Blankenship he can do it with the next kicker. Bet Rod understands that. Bet his father doesn’t.

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      • W Cobb Dawg

        Who’s the “next kicker”? Ham announced he was leaving last week. If Rodrigo left, I guess that leaves Wasson and another year of o.j.t.

        Some people say there “should” be plenty of kickers right here in GA who would love to be a preferred walk on. Then again, I don’t really see any good kickers beating down our door. And just think where we’d be without Butler’s influence on Blankenship. If Kirby doesn’t have a suitable replacement and Rodrigo were to leave, he’s put himself in a pretty difficult situation. Like it or not, teams need good kickers. A few teams get by without using a scholly. Our kicking results from 2016 seem to reflect a policy of giving the kicking position low priority.

        Like

  14. After reading his statement I think this kid is a dick and I no longer blame his dad for any of this.

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  15. Heyberto

    The biggest takeaway I have is that this guy is a grown ass man perfectly capable of handling himself, and he deserves a lot of credit for his public handling of this. He’s showing a maturity beyond his years.

    Also I don’t blame his Dad for publicly fighting for his son… but I do think he hasn’t handled it well at all.

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  16. Bright Idea

    I’ve yet to read what other schools might be interested in having this great kicker on full scholarship. Have I missed that?

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    • Russ

      Well, since schools aren’t really in the business of recruiting current players on other teams, I doubt we’re going to hear much about it.

      But I did see where Blankenship ranked in the middle of the SEC in terms of FG percentage. Of the 7 teams behind him, 5 of them had kickers on scholarship. Bama and LSU were the two behind him that didn’t have scholarship kickers (and the LSU kicker left for Texas – and a scholarship – as a grad transfer when Miles wouldn’t renew his scholarship). So I’m sure he could find one if he was inclined to leave.

      Like

      • Russ

        Actually, I need to correct that. LSU’s kicker WAS on scholarship. So it appears only Bama didn’t have a scholarship kicker in that bunch.

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        • DawgPhan

          I dont think that there is any argument that if he could freely transfer without penalty that he could have a scholarship for the next year at a power 5 school, probably in the southeast portion of the country.

          Liked by 1 person

          • This is so overwhelmingly full of shit. You think there is no argument that a power five school in the southeast would offer up a scholarship for a 78% kicker with a long of 49 yards, a 36% touchback percentage, and a dad with no qualms of airing grievances in the media? He kicked a 55-yard field goal in the bowl that landed on the 2 yard line. He doesn’t have a game-changing leg like a Daniel Carlson or consistency like Gary Wunderlich. There might be a power 5 school that would take him on scholarship to boost the team’s GPA or who can’t convince a kicker to come to their school otherwise, but it’s a stretch to assume beyond a shadow of a doubt that any other power five program would offer him a scholarship when no one did when he was an Army All-American. It’s bullshit to say that his performance would have major conference teams lining up at the door for his services if it weren’t for those pesky transfer rules.

            I support the kid. I think he can be another good, reliable kicker at UGA. So far, he hasn’t shown the combination of consistency and leg strength to be a true game changer like Blair Walsh, Brandon Coutu, Billy Bennett, or Marshall Morgan. Maybe he can develop more leg strength. I hope Kirby will give him a scholarship if one opens by fall camp. But, let’s not let our hatred for Kirby be the onus for replacing reality with conjecture.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Macallanlover

              Good post.

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            • Russ

              Can’t find it now, but read where he was better than many of those you mentioned in their first years. He’s ahead of half the SEC (most of them scholarship kickers), and is one of the top freshmen kickers in the country. He’d easily get a shot/scholarship at another school if he wanted another school and to lose a year of eligibilty.

              Now, factoring in wacky-dad changes the equation of course. But based on his numbers, he’d easily get an offer from a P5 school somewhere. No need to cloud the son’s performance with dad’s “performance”.

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            • JarvisCrowell

              excellent points

              Like

        • Yeah, and what have they ever won?

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          • Russ

            I think you’re replying to me saying Bama doesn’t have a scholarship kicker. To quote Saban, “I’m not sure, but I think they won the national championship!” 😉

            But I do think it’s telling that Kirby comes from a program that doesn’t typically give kickers a scholarship. I would say it’s been to their detriment (cost them a game against LSU, IIRC) but I couldn’t keep a straight face. Kirby’s off to a good start at accumulating talent, and he values kickers less than the others spots, at least right now. I’m thinking he learned that from the Sabanator. Personally, I’d rather see us have a scholarship kicker and punter, but then nobody asked me. As for the Rodrigo situation, no way can Kirby give him a scholarship now. Maybe over the summer or in the fall, but I wouldn’t count on it.

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  17. Rebar

    If Kirby can have an attendant hold his belt on the sidelines to keep him where he is supposed to be, could someone please get him a media consultant? I suspect he has been using McGarity’s media consultant with the way he has handled several situations this year.

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  18. Scott

    I just really don’t see what the issue is here, at least as far as finding some fault to find with CKS. It’s not like Rodrigo had a scholarship and had it taken away. He came in as a walk on…if he wanted to kick somewhere on scholarship, I’m sure he could have done that. For that matter, I’ll bet a six pack of anybody’s choosing that he WILL be on scholarship next year. But why do it now, when it counts against the number that we can sign for 2017? That’s just…dumb. It’s the kind of roster management we all gave Richt hell for (and rightfully so). If we still have a scholarship available once signing day is over, and all of the usual attrition takes place…sure, sign him up!

    Rodrigo is an average SEC kicker…that’s all. He still can’t put kickoffs into the end zone regularly, and I don’t trust him on any kick past 45 yards. Which isn’t to say he’s BAD…but from the hand wringing going on in some parts, you would think he was Morten Anderson in his prime or something.

    Like

    • Samuel Adams Utopias? I’ll put a 6 of Natty up against that.

      Rod may be an average SEC kicker but without his leg this year we go 5-7. He may be as responsible for the recruiting success as any other factor.

      Like

  19. Will Trane

    Perhaps Saint Mark will offer “the kicker” a position on a missionary team and compensate him for the time and work.
    Not first time scholarship has been offered and had it pulled due roster limits.
    Just wonder if the family has pursued student loans or other scholarship.
    But no indistry has been as subsized as the education industry. Thus the cost.
    How many students work, student loans, or Hope scholarship. There are means out there.
    All about house money. The dads. The coach. Both have to protect their turf.
    Just wonder what the Dad would say if his kicket was on one and missed most of kicks and Kirby was looking for a replacement.
    Big mistake for Dad to take this so public. By doing so it is more than the coach but it is an attack on the University and its alums.
    Frankly tired of hearing Dad complain all the time.

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  20. Look, the bottom line here is that Blankie’s dad represents legacy wussification; the son is straddling paradigms and may yet land on the right side. It is clear that a) CKS is building a powerhouse that b) will not be relying on the kicking game. Notice exhibit A – Miami vs. Fla.State this year – that’s what happens when you rely on the kicking game. If you can’t line up and run over your opponents, if you have to rely on kicking the ball where multiple things can go wrong … that’s not UGA football. Further, any player should be honoured that they’ve been asked to wear the ‘G’ whether they get a scholarship or not. CKS is building the kind of programme where people are begging us to come and play. How can we expect to win a national championship if we have to rely on scholarship quality kickers? That is not the process CKS is developing.

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    • Jeff Sanchez

      I’m fully convinced now that this is a shtick…at least, I enjoy it more that way

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    • DawgFlan

      if you have to rely on kicking the ball where multiple things can go wrong … that’s not UGA football:

      At the University of Georgia Butler was a two-time All-American and a four-time All-Southeastern Conference football player including three First-Team selections. Thus far he holds the Bulldogs’ record for scoring with 353 points (122 PAT’s, 77 field goals), and he is second in career scoring in SEC history (including all players, kickers and non-kickers). Butler helped lead Bulldog teams to two SEC titles and four bowl appearances, set an NCAA record with 27 multiple field-goal games, and was named to All-Century teams selected by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and Sports Illustrated, as well as to ABC Sports’ College Football All Time All-America team. In December 2001 Butler became first kicker ever inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

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      • Macallanlover

        Damn, that is impressive. Now if he could just adopt Hot Rod and become a step dad all would be solved! Seriously, always knew he was a great kicker but seeing all that in one paragraph drives it home. Will never forget his final kick for UGA against FSU, a 70 yarder that came so close the refs got down below the goal post to see if it would cross the bar. Couldn’t have been more than one length of the football short, if that. I will always blame Dooley for that miss.

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      • I didn’t suggest we’ve never had awesome kickers; Rex Robinson wasn’t too bad either. But how many games did Butler play in that came down to him winning it? Not more than a handful. Depending on a last minute, mile-long kick is not part of the CKS regime. He has other scholarship priorities; special team points will be icing on the cake of the machine he is building.

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        • Russ

          I personally don’t agree with this philosophy, but I tend to think this is Kirby’s (and Saban’s) philosophy. Hopefully it works out okay.

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  21. Senator, this kid is playing the fanbase like a stratocaster. Talk about reeled in. I hope Kirby lets the team use this guy for a tackling dummy.

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  22. embarrassment of riches

    That picture in the AJC is the grandfather, I believe, not the father.

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  23. sUGArdaddy

    This is all ridiculous. I worked for the program back in the day and this is unprecedented. We have lots of walk-ons as key contributors, Christian Payne to name a particular stand-out. We have a starting DB, Aaron Davis, who spent his redshirt and redshirt freshman seasons as a walk-on. He made a key pick against Clemson that redshirt freshman season. He didn’t get a scholly until the beginning of his redshirt sophomore season. You never heard his parents point out that he was a starting defensive player and ought to be on scholly.

    Kirby has to do what he believes is in the best interest of the program. For years we’ve had scholly kickers and walk-ons covering the kicks. Maybe Kirby wants a walk-on kicker and scholly guys covering the kicks. My sense is that this kid is a good enough kid that this will end well, and it sounds to me like he trusts his coach.

    And Kirby has said repeatedly that if the players can count on one thing, it’s that he’ll be honest with them. Would we rather him tell Rod that it was all rainbows and butterflies when it clearly wasn’t?

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  24. Ginny

    He’s an in-state kid, right? And doesn’t he have a good GPA? Is the HOPE Scholarship not an option?

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  25. Malcolm x

    I am amazed at the tone and volume of criticism of the father. The father thinks his son is being treated unfairly. I think the son is being used. This is a learning moment for a young man about the world. There will always be someone trying to bamboozle you, abuse you, or take it advantage of you.
    A person has to know what is just and emotionally healthy for themselves.
    In addition, too many young people are ignorant about finances and money. Sure it may be fun to go to Georgia, drink beer, and kick footballs on Saturday. But he will hate himself at age 30 if he has a large amount of student debt . The father will hate himself in twenty years if he spends all his money on his son and he and his wife have a hellish old-age due to poverty. Kirby is taking advantage of an ignorant young boy. The kid , like all kids, needs an education without destroying his future finances. Go do that were he can and quit giving a free gift of his services to a guy who makes 5 million bucks .

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    • The father’s attitude is one thing; his tactics are another.

      Unless Smart has reneged on a promise, who’s been bamboozled here? Not to mention there’s at least one other walk on, the starting fullback, who’s got as good a claim to a scholly as Blankenship does.

      As far as quit giving his services away for free, he can walk away from the UGA football program any time he wants.

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      • Malcolm x

        That’s my point. The kid should walk. Nobody Buys the cow when the milk is free. My point is that the kid doesn’t have the financial knowledge and maturity to understand he’s a sucker.
        The bamboozlement is society and dog fans telling the kid to kick for free. There is a cost . Only the kid and his father can decide if it’s worth the financial cost to his future for the joy of kicking a football today. The father understands the cost of having a hamburger today with the promise to pay in the future. What I’m saying is that the bigger picture is what is important for the kid. Get a goddamn good education, moron;one that is affordable for him. Don’t be bamboozled by the bright lights of being on the varsity team of Georgia football and go in debt. Georgia football is that bright shiny car that he can’t afford.

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        • Mayor

          I’m pretty sure the kid can go to an FCS or D-II school, play immediately and probably get a scholarship. That is probably his best option given what has happened. He’s not getting a scholarship to Georgia now. Kirby will find another kicker and as soon as that guy is available will bench Rodrigo. I hate to say it.

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  26. Dawgy1

    After all this playing out publicly, gonna be more difficult for R Blankenship to be successful. I think we all can agree that mentally a kicker needs much less distraction. Can we imagine every missed FG and/or EP from here forward? He will live and die at every kick and kickoff. Whether on scholarship or not, he will catch hell unless almost perfect. A very unfortunate situation now.
    The kid should take his wares elsewhere and save himself the disaster that’s awaiting him at Georgia. Just another opinion.

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  27. This is yet another symptom of the broken “indentured servitude” that is college football and basketball.

    Schools are making millions of these kids and giving them crap in return. I saw this kid kicking field goals and kickoffs on national television. He was contributing to an entertainment product for this UGA was paid millions of dollars. How in the hell is he deserving of $0?

    The whole concept of walk-ons in div1 football/basketball is broken as hell. The concept of scholarship only and no ability to monetize your own persona is bullshit. The lack of a salary for what is clearly a job is bullshit.

    The whole system is busted and needs to be burned to the ground. I hope Rodrigo’s dad helps bring more attention to this broken system.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. The Bruce

    Helicopter parenting at its finest.

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