ATHENS – Looks like opposing teams will have to respect the specs for another season in Athens, as kicker Rodrigo Blankenship announced he would be returning to Athens for his senior season.
— Rodrigo Blankenship (@RodTheKicker3) January 5, 2019
Underclassmen have until Jan. 14 to declare for the upcoming NFL Draft, which takes place April 25-27 in Nashville. The NFL combine is Feb. 26 through March 4 in Indianapolis.
Tight end Isaac Nauta, receivers Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman and running back Elijah Holyfield all declared for the draft on Friday.
Blankenship, who began his career as a walk-on before being awarded a scholarship, ranked 10th in the nation in scoring this season (122).
Blankenship was 65-of-65 on his extra-point kicks and 19-of-23 on his field goal attempts.
The 6-foot-1, 191-pounder put 82 of his 97 kickoffs into the end zone this season, and he was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award which goes to the nation’s top placekicker.
Blankenship was a second-team All-SEC selection the season, and he began his career as the FWAA Freshman All-American kicker in 2016.
Nautta was also a member of the FWAA Freshman All-American team that season, along with recent UGA transfer Demetris Robertson, who was then at Cal.