Georgia adds JUCO kicker to 2009 signing class

Georgia has signed JUCO kicker Brandon Bogatay from Grossman College in El Cajon, California. I wonder what this means for Blair Walsh who struggled with kickoffs and field goals at times, particularly in the Florida game. Per the recruiting rankings, Walsh was the consensus #1 rated kicker coming out of high school last year so the results from the kicking game were seen as a disappointment for Georgia fans and likely coaches as well. Last year Walsh kicked eight kickoffs out of bounds including two in the loss to Georgia Tech. The frustration with the kicking game was obviously high when Coach Richt said he would go to Poland if he had to to find an additional kicker.

Mark Weiszer has the early story up with some interesting quotes from Coach Richt

“He showed from what we saw on film and what we charted that he has the capability of kicking the ball deep and that’s what we’re hoping to make sure we shore up.”
“The thought is to get another guy in here to compete for our kickoff and extra point and field goal. We’re happy with what Walsh has done in regards to extra point and field goal and we just want to make sure that we got an answer for the kickoff, but we always let everyone compete at every position.”

This seems to reaffirm that Bogotay will come in to serve as a kickoff specialist and Walsh will continue placekicking duties on field goals and extra points. Richt did throw in the caveat that Bogotay will be competing at extra points and field goals which I think is a good thing. If Walsh can make it through the pressure of competing for his job during fall practice, I think he will be ready for the pressure that comes in game situations later this year. All in all, I think this is a good thing. Walsh can worry about knocking down field goals with that big leg that he showed off against Georgia Southern last year. As long as Georgia continues not playing speedy guys on kickoff coverage, kicking it out of the end zone with Bogotay may be a good thing.

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