He did it again.
But at least the second time around, it was a conscious effort for Georgia place-kicker Rodrigo Blankenship to wear his helmet to an interview. This isn’t too much of a surprise considering he’s been described as a goofy teammate.
And in his biggest moment, which came after hitting the game-winning field goal in last Saturday’s 27-24 win over Kentucky, Blankenship momentarily lost his train of thought when he was pulled aside for an on-field post-game interview with SEC Network’s Kaylee Hartung.
Now an internet meme, Blankenship left his helmet on and chinstrap buckled while talking about his performance on live television.
"I wasn’t thinking I was just caught up in the moment, you know," Blankenship said.
Poking fun at himself for it, Blankenship, a digital and broadcast journalism major, arrived to the media meeting area Wednesday evening with his helmet and asked if he could wear it for his interview. A team spokesman initially told him he couldn’t before relenting after some coaxing from reporters.
Blankenship then talked for over nine minutes to a horde of reporters with his practice helmet on.
Blankenship made four field goals against the Wildcats and has now hit nine in a row over the past five games. He’s been the answer to Georgia’s kicking woes after he replaced William Ham, who made three of his seven attempts in the first three games of the season.
In addition to his kicking streak, Blankenship has also earned attention with his appearance, mainly for wearing rec specs during games.
Teammate Reggie Carter tweeted a picture of Blankenship after the Kentucky win with the caption, "Not all superheroes wear capes! #Goggles."
Another social media meme that circulated was an illustration of the university’s bulldog mascot donning a pair of rec specs.
Blankenship said a fellow student in one of his journalism classes arrived wearing a pair of rec specs, with a picture being taken and posted to Twitter.
"It’s different. It’s something a lot of people find funny," running back Sony Michel said. "It could be a positive to his game. It’s his own style at the end of the day."
Blankenship claims to have gained 1,100-1,200 Instagram and Twitter followers and is hoping to get verified by the social media companies.
Blankenship, in his second year as a redshirt freshman, is hoping to earn a scholarship if all goes well by the end of the season. Blankenship’s father, Ken Blankenship, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that due to his family’s financial situation, the possibility exists that his son could transfer following the season if he’s forced to remain a walk-on.
Asked about the comment, Rodrigo said he’s primarily focused on his kicking.
"My father and I have had discussions about our financial situation but I’m just trying to focus on the things I can control right now," Blankenship said.
Blankenship has enjoyed the extra attention following the Kentucky game. A local celebrity now, he’s received plenty of messages online.
But Blankenship said he’s done his part to keep a low profile around campus, at least as much as he can. And no, he doesn’t wear his own rec specs to classes. He does have a pair of regular glasses.
"I wear all black just because I’m not a big fashion guy," Blankenship said. "Most of the time when I’m around campus and I’m not in the classroom I’m on my scooter. I’m not as recognizable as you might think."
It hasn’t always been smooth for the Bulldogs in a 5-4 season that hasn’t gone as expected. But the quirky kicker sure seems like an ideal candidate to lighten the mood with his own unique sense of style and self-awareness.
And Blankenship sure did stand out in a fun way Wednesday by bringing his helmet to an interview setting.
"I’d say I’m pretty weird in general," Blankenship said. "I am wearing a helmet right now."