The Indianapolis Colts are one of the top teams in the AFC, and they are currently tied for first place in their division. Indianapolis is putting themselves in a good position to make the playoffs. One player that has stepped up in a big way for the Colts happens to be a rookie.
That player is rookie kicker Rodrigo Blankenship. Blankenship has made a name for himself throughout the NFL in his first year, and he has put the Colts in multiple positions to win games.
Rodrigo Blankenship was a standout kicker in college
Blankenship is a native of Marietta, Georgia, and in high school, he participated in the 2014-15 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. According to 247Sports, Blankenship was ranked the No. 9 kicker in the country. After high school, he attended Georgia, but he did not receive a scholarship. He was a preferred walk-on in 2015 and redshirted his freshman year. Blankenship became the starting kicker his redshirt freshman season.
The Georgia native put together an impressive season in 2016. He was 14-for-18 on field goals and 26-for-26 on extra points, and he led the team in scoring and was named to the All-SEC Freshman team. Blankenship continued to improve during his career at Georgia. In 2017, he received a full athletic scholarship. Georgia appeared in the Rose Bowl in 2018 and played against Oklahoma in an exciting game. Blankenship made a big play for Georgia during the game. He made a record-long 55-yard field goal that helped Georgia defeat Oklahoma in overtime.
Georgia advanced to the National Championship Game and took on SEC rival Alabama. Blankenship made a 51-yard field goal in overtime to temporarily give Georgia the lead, but Alabama was able to pull out the win, as they defeated Georgia 26-23. In 2019, Blankenship won the Lou Groza Award, which is presented to the country’s top college football placekicker. He ended his college career on a great note, and he was named to the PFF All-American Team.
The Colts decided to sign Blankenship
After an impressive career at Georgia, Blankenship signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2020. He immediately became the starting kicker for the Colts when the season started. In his first NFL game, he made both extra-point attempts and two of three field-goal attempts as the Colts lost 27-20 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Blankenship has already established himself as one of the top kickers in the league in just his first year. The 23-year-old, who once was a preferred walk-on in college, is now kicking field goals for an NFL team with a strong chance at making the playoffs. He is setting himself up to have a long and successful NFL career.
Rodrigo Blankenship has become a notable player in the NFL
At first glance, Blankenship may not look like an NFL kicker. Though he may not look like an NFL kicker, he knows how to get the job done. He has created an image that stands out in the sports world. Blankenship wears a thick pair of glasses during games, and he has caught media attention for those glasses.
Those glasses certainly help him see where he’s kicking the ball during field goal attempts. Through 10 games, Blankenship has made 23 field goals, which is second in the league. He had a big game during Week 11 against the Green Bay Packers. Blankenship kicked a 39-yard game-winning field goal in overtime as the Colts won 34-31. He earned the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award after his performance against the Packers. The Colts have a productive kicker on their hands, and he will play a vital part for the Colts toward the end of the season.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference