College Football Awards

Georgia place kicker Rodrigo Blankenship poses with the trophy after winning the Lou Groza Award for being the nation's best place kicker Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Rodrigo Blankenship came away a winner Thursday night.

The former Sprayberry High School standout and current Georgia kicker won the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s best at his position.

Blankenship accepted his award during ESPN’s College Football Awards show at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

Blankenship has gone from walk-on to a major weapon for Georgia during his career.

As a senior this season, he has connected on 25 of 31 field goals and all 44 of his extra points. The season may have been highlighted by his effort against Texas A&M, as he connected on all four of his field goal attempts in a 19-13 victory, while also passing Blair Walsh to become Georgia’s all-time leading scorer.

Blankenship became the second player from Cobb County to win one of college football’s national awards, joining former Hillgrove and North Carolina State standout Bradley Chubb. The current Denver Broncos linebacker won the Bronco Nagurski and Ted Hendricks awards in 2017.

Blankenship was also nominated for the Burlsworth Trophy as the most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on, and the William V. Campbell Trophy as the nation’s premier scholar athlete. Michigan State defensive lineman Kenny Willekes won the Burlsworth Trophy, with Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert winning the Campbell Trophy.

Former Harrison High School star Justin Fields was also in attendance at Thursday’s awards ceremony.

Fields was up for two awards on the night — the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s best quarterback and the Walter Camp Award as the nation’s best player overall. Both awards went to LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.

Fields is also vying against Burrow for the Heisman Trophy, which will be announced Saturday night in New York.


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