Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship is not expected to be awarded a scholarship in the immediate future, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Blankenship and his father Ken Sr. reportedly learned the news in a Monday meeting with Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart.
Blankenship, a walk-on redshirt freshman, who earned the Bulldogs’ starting kicker job this fall would count against the school’s 2017 recruiting class – which currently ranks third nationally – if given now for the spring semester.
In October, Ken Sr. told the AJC that his son possibly would have to leave the school for financial reasons if he was not granted a scholarship. However, Blakenship’s brother who also is named Ken says that is no longer the case.
“He loves the team. But even more than ever he is so proud to be a contributing member of this team,” Ken Blankenship Jr. said. “He loves the Dawgs. He is not leaving the university. He is not going anywhere. He wants nothing more than to be part of it. He’s staying, in kind of a confused and disappointed state.”
Ken Jr. believes that Blankenship’s performance in 2016 should give him the financial break.
“We think he has earned it already,” Ken Jr. said. “My brother as a walk-on is being treated like a walk-on who didn’t even get on the field, or for only a few downs. But he led the team in scoring.”
For Blankenship, the earliest he now likely would receive a scholarship would be at the start of the next school year this fall.
The NCAA permits to have 85 scholarships per team.
When asked about a scholarship for Blankenship in November, Smart said that the program would “determine that kind of stuff at the end of the year.”
Blankenship made 14 of 18 field goal attempts this season after taking over the place-kicking duties from William Ham during the team’s fourth game.
(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)
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