ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia graduate place-kicker Rodrigo Blankenship is the fourth Bulldog in history to be named the Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year for football, according to a league announcement on Thursday.


Blankenship, a native of Marietta, Ga., joins David Greene (2004), Aaron Murray (2013) and Chris Conley (2014) as the Georgia players to earn the honor.


Blankenship graduated cum laude with a degree in Digital and Broadcast Journalism in December 2018 thanks to his 3.71 GPA.  The 2017 and 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-District selection is currently working on his Master’s degree in Journalism and has a 3.65 GPA.  Blankenship has served on the SEC Football Leadership Council and is a member of the UGA Athletic Association’s Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) group.


Off the field and on the field honors have rolled in for Blankenship this season.  The six-time 2019 SEC Special Teams Player of the Week has earned one of the National Football Foundation (NFF) National Scholar Athlete Awards; is a finalist for the Campbell Trophy, Lou Groza Award and Burlsworth Trophy; and he was a semifinalist for Wuerffel Trophy.


Blankenship, a native of Marietta, Ga., is the SEC’s second leading scorer this year, averaging 9.6 points per game, and has connected on 24-of-28 field goal attempts and all 115 of his PATs.  He has drilled three 50-yard field goals during his team’s 11-1 start.  Blankenship is the FBS active leader by 15 with a total of 77 made field goals.  After scoring 13 points in the victory over No. 24 Texas A&M, he became UGA’s all-time leading scorer and now has with 428 points, which ranks second all-time in league history.


The former walk-on was a 2019 CBS Sports/Athlon Midseason All-American.  Blankenship has connected on a school record 197 consecutive PATs, which also ranks second in SEC history.  Thanks in large part to his contribution, Georgia leads the nation with 288 PATs in a row dating back to 2014.


The No. 4 Bulldogs (11-1, 7-1 SEC) face No. 2 LSU (12-0, 8-0) in the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday.  CBS will televise the matchup at 4 p.m.