ATHENS — Two underrated position races at Georgia have been on special teams. One position now has a leg up. The other spot is still up in the air.
Rodrigo Blankenship and William Ham remain in competition to be the place-kicker, with a little more than a week to go until the season opener.
“The kicker thing hasn’t played itself out,” head coach Kirby Smart said after Wednesday’s practice. “Both guys are battling there.”
At punter, freshman Marshall Long has an apparent lead to take the role, though Brice Ramsey – also in the running at quarterback – is still involved.
“Marshall’s done probably the best job. But it’s not over till it’s over,” Smart said. “Brice continued to work. Brice has a really fast operation and has done a good job of getting the ball off here in the past.”
Blankenship came to Georgia last year as a recruited walk-on, and took a redshirt year. Ham came to Georgia in 2014 as a recruited walk-on, didn’t play for a year, then took a year off. He was convinced to return to the team this spring, and battled to an apparent draw with Blankenship during spring practice.
Freshman Mitchell Wasson was originally going to go to Alabama, but Smart convinced him to stay in state and go to Georgia. But Wasson arrived in the summer, apparently putting him behind the other two in the competition.
Long was a late addition to Georgia’s signing class, brought in by new special teams coordinator Shane Beamer.
Ramsey took over the punting role late last season. He averaged a team-high 41.9 yards while punting 25 times. Five of those attempts were downed inside the 20.