Draft in-depth: Kicker Blair Walsh

The Vikings used their sixth-round pick on a kicker, Blair Walsh of Georgia.

Blair Walsh
Placekicker
University of Georgia Bulldogs
#57
5:09.2-187
Boca Raton, Florida
Cardinal Gibbons High School

OVERVIEW

Georgia has been one of the few college teams that have put a strong emphasis on their kicking game. Since the two leagues merged in 1968, four Bulldogs placekickers have been drafted and gone on to success in the National Football League. Many talent evaluators feel that Walsh will be the next specialist from the university to be drafted.

Previous Georgia kicks to hear their name called on draft day were Allan Leavitt (fourth round of the 1977 draft by Atlanta), Rex Robinson (sixth round in 1981 by Cincinnati), Kevin Butler (fourth round in 1985 by Chicago) and Todd Peterson (seventh round in 1993 by the New York Giants).

Among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision performers, Walsh holds leads the nation in field goals attempted (103), field goals made (76) and total points scored (412). He is also tied for fourth in extra point kicks made (184). His point total established school and Southeastern Conference all-time records, ranking third among Bulldogs and fifth in SEC annals for field goals connected.

Before Walsh arrived in Athens, Georgia he played football for head coach Michael Morill at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Boca Raton, Florida. The USA Today All-USA first-team selection received a four-star prospect as the nation's best kicker, according to Scout.com. Rivals.com regarded Walsh as having the fourth-strongest leg in the prep ranks. ESPN.com rated him fifth among the nation's kicking specialists.

The Class AAA Florida Sports Writers Association All-State second-team selection in 2007, Walsh was named South Florida Sun-Sentinel All-County first-team and was invited to play in the 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The Parade All-American 14 out of 20 field goals, including two from 59 yards and 30 out of 31 extra points as a senior. He also averaged 41 yards per punt and 69 yards per kick-off.

Walsh immediately took over placekicking duties at Georgia, as the Freshman All-South-eastern Conference selection scored 95 points in 2008, which ranked eighth in the league. He connected on 15-of-23 field goals, making 2-of-5 attempts from past the 50-yard line.

The All-SEC second-team choice as a sophomore, Walsh averaged 1.54 field goals per game in 2009, which ranked third in the conference and tied for 16th nationally. He totaled 102 points, fifth-best in the league, as four of his 20-of-22 field goal tries were successful from 50 yards away.

Walsh was named a semi-finalist for the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation's premier placekicker, in 2010. His 106 points scored rank fifth on the school season-record list while his 20 field goals made were good for second in the SEC. He made both of his 50-yard plus three-pointers and averaged 65.88 yards per kickoff that included twelve touch-backs on 74 chances.

Walsh was named to Georgia's Team of the Decade in 2011. His 21 field goals made rank fifth on UGA's season-record list, as he totaled 109 points, fourth-best by a Georgia kicker in a season. He averaged 65.4 yards per kickoff, posting 19 touchbacks on 68 boots. Still, he did undergo a bit of a slump, as he was successful on just 21 of 35 field goal tries.
"I missed a couple field goals," Walsh said. "That doesn't mean I have to go revamp everything and change my technique a bunch. I just need to fine-tune some stuff that maybe got a little sloppy and go from there. "I trust my style and my ability to kick a football. I think that's what's gotten me to this point, can't abandon it now."

CAREER NOTES
Walsh scored 412 points, making 76-of-103 field goals (73.79%) and 184-of-185 extra point attempts (99.46%)…Successful on 10-of-17 field goals from 50 yards or longer…He had at least one successful field goal in 45 consecutive games, breaking the previous NCAA all-time record of 40 games by Gary Gussman of Miami University (Ohio; 1984-87; 44 games)…His 412 points broke the school and Southeastern Conference career-record of 409 points by Billy Bennett (2000-03)…His 76 successful field goals placed third in school annals and fifth on the SEC all-time chart…His 184 extra points made established a new school career-record and tied for third on the SEC list...Holds the school record with 119 successful extra points…Made ten field goals of 50 yards or longer, one shy of the school record of eleven by Kevin Butler (1981-84).

2011 SEASON
Walsh was selected to the watch lists for Lou Groza Award and the CFPA Place Kicker Trophy…Named to the inaugural Pony Express Award watch list as a tandem with team-mate, punter Drew Butler…Chosen for Georgia's Team of the Decade...Scored 109 points, the fourth-best season total by a Georgia kicker…Connected on 21-of-35 field goals and made all 46 extra point attempts…Hit on 2-of-5 field goal tries from 50 yards or longer…
Kicked off 68 times for 4,447 yards (65.4 avg) including 19 touchbacks…Ranked fourth in the SEC with 1.50 field goals made per game…Recipient of the Aldredge-Kimberly Football Scholarship.

2011 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
At Georgia Tech, he went 1-for-2 on FGs, made four PATs and kicked off four times including two touchbacks…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…Named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week after he made FGs from 35- and 23-yards at Tennessee to go along with two PATs…Against Coastal Carolina, made a career-long 56-yard FG, converted 8-of-8 PATs and recovered a fumble on a kickoff…Went 2-for-3 on FGs and made five PAT vs. South Carolina; Also had four touchbacks while kicking off seven times.

2010 SEASON
Walsh was named All-Southeastern Conference first-team by the league's coaches…The junior scored 106 points, which rank fifth on the school season-record chart…Connected on 20-of-23 field goals and 46-of-47 PATs…Made both of his field goal tries from 50 yards out…Named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award…Earned one of team's Most Valuable Special Teams Players Award…Ranked second in the SEC in field goals per game at 1.54.

2009 SEASON
Consistency was Walsh's strength, as the sophomore ranked second in the nation by connecting on 90.91 percent of his field goal attempts…By making 20-of -22 field goals, he just missed breaking the all time Bulldog single season accuracy mark of 92.86 percent… Hit on 4-of-5 field goals of 50 yards or longer…Selected All-SEC second-team by the league's coaches.

2008 SEASON
Walsh was named Freshman All-SEC by the league's coaches…Appeared in 13 games connecting on 15-of-23 field goal attempts and 50-of-50 PATs and recorded 75 kickoffs for 4,499 yards (60.0 avg.)…Made his 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.

INJURY REPORT
No injuries reported.

PHYSICAL MEASUREMENTS
4.96 in the 40-yard dash…29 3/8-inch arm length…8 3/8-inch hands…70 1/8-inch wingspan.

HIGH SCHOOL
Walsh attended Cardinal Gibbons High School in Boca Raton, Florida, playing football for head coach Michael Morill...The USA Today All-USA first-team selection received a four-star prospect as the nation's best kicker, according to Scout.com…Rivals.com regarded Walsh as having the fourth-strongest leg in the prep ranks…ESPN.com rated him fifth among the nation's kicking specialists…The Class AAA Florida Sports Writers Association All-State second-team selection in 2007, Walsh was named South Florida Sun-Sentinel All-County first-team and was invited to play in the 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl…The Parade All-American 14 out of 20 field goals, including two from 59 yards and 30 out of 31 extra points as a senior…Also averaged 41 yards per punt and 69 yards per kick-off.

PERSONAL
Speech Communications major…Born 1/08/90…Resides in Boca Raton, Florida.

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