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Georgia place-kicker Rodrigo Blankenship (98) walks onto the field. Georgia trailed LSU 17-3 at the end of the first half of the SEC Championship on Dec. 7, 2019 in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo/Ryan Cameron, rcameron@randb.com)

Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship won the Lou Groza Award on Thursday night at a ceremony in Atlanta. He beat out Iowa’s Keith Duncan and Washington State’s Blake Mazza for the honor of college football’s best kicker. 

Blankenship will finish his career as the Bulldogs’ all-time leading scorer. The senior kicker, who has yet to miss an extra point in his career, was a semifinalist for the award in 2017 and 2018 and won the fan vote this year. The fan vote gave Blankenship one extra vote on the final ballot. 

The only other time Georgia had a finalist for the Lou Groza Award was in 2012 when Blair Walsh lost to Tulane’s Cairo Santos. 

Senior safety J.R. Reed was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award but fell short in the voting. LSU’s Grant Delpit took home the honor of being the nation’s best defensive back instead. 

Last year, Deandre Baker became the first Georgia football player to win the Jim Thorpe Award. Future NFL Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey was a finalist in 1998, marking the first time in history a Georgia player was nominated. 

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