ATHENS, Ga. -- As bounceback stories go, Blair Walsh’s is not only extreme, but it happened with amazing speed.
Walsh, whose draft stock slipped a bit with an erratic senior season at Georgia in 2011, not only returned to the form that made him one of the nation’s top kickers in 2009 and 2010, he exceeded it. As a rookie with the Minnesota Vikings last fall, Walsh enjoyed one of the most productive seasons of any placekicker in NFL history, earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors by hitting 35 of 38 field goals -- including 10-for-10 from 50 yards and beyond -- and all 36 of his PATs.
He credits a mechanical change for the turnaround, as his accuracy returned once he slowed his approach to the ball before attempting a field goal. And just like that, Walsh was back to performing like the Lou Groza Award finalist he had been during his college career -- one that started with him ranked as ESPN’s No. 7 kicking prospect when he signed with Georgia in 2008.
Looking back on his experiences as a recruit, Walsh said he settled on becoming a Bulldog early in the process because of the opportunity to play right away since Brandon Coutu’s eligibility expired after the 2007 season. And he took advantage of that chance, becoming the leading scorer in SEC history with 412 career points.
Walsh discussed the decision to attend Georgia and his experiences as a recruit with DawgNation’s David Ching on Monday afternoon. Here are some of his recollections: