the study of the kicking components within sports

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Draft Preview: Blair Walsh

Among the kickers eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is Georgia's Blair Walsh. He ranks in the top five in the majority of the various draft rankings.

Excerpts from Walsh's profile page on the Bulldogs' website:

2011 Senior Season
  • Set NCAA career record with at least one FG in 45 games.
  • Set UGA & SEC career record with 412 points scored
  • Selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game.
  • Against Kentucky, went 4-for-4 on FGs (39, 39, 25, 39), made a PAT and kicked off three times earning SEC Special Teams Player of the Week and CFPA National PK of the Week honors
  • At Vanderbilt, went 4-for-6 on FGs with made FGs from 53, 28, 36 and 44 yards; Also went 3-for-3 on PATs for a career-best 15-point game earning him Lou Groza Award National "Star of the Week" honors
  • Against Coastal Carolina, made a career-long 56-yard FG, converted 8-of-8 PATs and recovered a fumble on a kickoff
2010 Junior Season
  • Named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award
  • Named All-SEC First Team by SEC Coaches and Second Team by Associated Press, Phil Steele and
  • Earned one of team's Most Valuable Special Teams Players award
  • Named CFPA Honorable Mention PK of the week following game vs. Idaho St. where he went 2-for-2 on FGs making from 38 yards before tying his career-long with a 53-yarder; Also kicked off eight times and made 6-of-6 PATs
  • Scored 13 points vs. Louisiana by making field goals from 52 an 48 yards and going 7-for-7 on PATs earning him CFPA Honorable Mention Place Kicker of the Week honors
2009 Sophomore Season
  • Named All-SEC Second Team by Associated Press, SEC Coaches and Phil Steele
  •  Was 1-of-3 finalists for the Lou Groza Award.
  • Named Placekicker of the YearEarned one of team's Most Valuable Special Teams Player awards
  • Earned Honorable Mention Kickoff Specialist Performer of the Week after making four kickoffs for 278 yards including three touchbacks; also hit a 49-yard FG and two PATs
  • Against Ariz. St., made two fourth quarter field goals, a 21-yarder and 37-yarder as time expired for the win
  • Earned Honorable Mention Place Kicker Performer of the Week after he made field goals from 50-yards and 42-yards, went 5-for-5 on PATs and kicked off eight times for 539 yards (67.4 avg.) including two touchbacks vs. S. Carolina
2008 Freshman Season
  • Named Freshman All-SEC by SEC Coaches
  • Made Bulldog debut vs. Georgia Southern connecting for a 52-yard field goal on his first-career FG attempt, the longest first-field goal by a freshman since Hap Hines had a 54-yarder in 1996. Also made eight kickoffs for a 58.9 yard average including one touchback and a tackle
High School
  • USA Today All-USA First Team Offense
  • four-star prospect, #1 PK in the nation
  • 2008 Kicker Rankings: strongest leg (4), most accurate (5), kickers (7)
  • No. 5 kicker in the nation
  • Class AAA 2007 Florida Sports Writers Association All-State second-team offense
  • 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl
  • as a senior, made 14 out of 20 field goals including two from 59 yards and 30 out of 31 extra points... averaged 41 yards per punt and 69 yards per kick-off

2011: 21 of 35 (60.0%) FGs; 46 of 46 PATs; 109 points
2010: 20 of 23 (87.0%) FGs; 46 of 47 PATs; 106 points
2009: 20 of 22 (90.9%) FGs; 42 of 42 PATs; 102 points
2008: 15 of 23 (65.2%) FGs; 50 of 50 PATs; 95 points

At Georgia's Pro Day last month, Walsh assessed his NFL prospects:
“I think I’ve done well enough in the postseason part of this and the process. I’ve kicked pretty well in the (NFL) combine and today. I’m hoping somebody takes a shot on me. I think my career speaks for itself, and obviously I didn’t have the year I wanted to have this year, and I’m just hoping a team takes a chance because I know I’ll be ready to work for them and be a contributing role....

It’s part of the game. If you’re not ready to commit to a couple years to it, then you’re really a one-and-done type," he said. "But I’m willing to commit years to it. I’m confident I’ll be able to crack into it, but it’s a tough business. I picked a job where there’s 32 jobs. So hopefully I’m one of them.”

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