Blair Walsh

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Blair Walsh
Blair Walsh postgame interview.jpg
Walsh speaks with media after a game in December 2012.
No. 3     Minnesota Vikings
Placekicker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1990-01-08) January 8, 1990 (age 24)
Place of birth: Boca Raton, Florida
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) Weight: 192 lb (87 kg)
Career information
High school: Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Gibbons
College: Georgia
NFL Draft: 2012 / Round: 6 / Pick: 175
Debuted in 2012 for the Minnesota Vikings
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 16, 2014
Field goals 85
Field goal attempts 101
Field goals % 84.2
Longest FG 56
Stats at NFL.com

Blair Richard Walsh (born January 8, 1990) is an American football placekicker for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). Walsh played college football for the University of Georgia, was nicknamed the "Athens Assassin" for converting long field goal attempts.[1] He was drafted by the Vikings in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

High school career[edit]

Walsh attended Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and played football for coach Michael Morill. Twice he hit field goals from 59 yards as a senior. For his efforts, Walsh was named to USA Today's All-USA First Team Offense and noted as a top-5 kicker in the nation by ESPN.com.[2] He also played in the 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

College career[edit]

Walsh attended the University of Georgia, where he was a placekicker for coach Mark Richt's Georgia Bulldogs football team from 2008 to 2011. He was a standout player who amassed a number of significant kicking stats. During his time at Georgia, he made 4 field goals in a game three times. Twice he attempted a field goal from, his long, 56 yards and converted it once in a game against Coastal Carolina in his senior year. In all, Walsh made 184 of 185 PATs and 76 of 103 field goals. However, in his senior year he made just 21 of 35 field goal attempts.[3] He also had two tackles and one fumble recovery to his credit.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Minnesota Vikings[edit]

2012 season[edit]

Walsh prepares for a kickoff.

Walsh was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the fifth pick of the sixth round. A priority acquisition for the Vikings, Walsh would take over kicking duties for the released Ryan Longwell. Through the first 11 weeks of the season, Walsh missed only one field goal and had another blocked. He was 6-for-6 with kicks over 50 yards and 21-for-21 on extra point attempts. On December 16, Walsh passed Randy Moss for the Vikings' franchise record in points scored by a rookie (119). In his best week of his rookie season, in a game against the St. Louis Rams in week 15, Walsh equalled the NFL record for field goals made from 50 yards or more with his eighth kick (a new team record); his three 50-yarders in the game was also a team record.[4] His 5 kicks also tied an NFL record for most field goals of 37 yards or more in a single game, 5, which only Chris Boniol equaled for the Cowboys in 1996 and Scott Norwood in 1988. The next week in a game against the Houston Texans on December 23, 2012, Walsh completed a 56-yard attempt, setting the NFL record for field goals over 50 yards in a season with his 9th 50+ yarder. The 56 yarder also tied the Vikings record of longest field goal set by Paul Edinger in 2005.[5] In the final game of the 2012 season, Walsh completed a 54-yard field goal to make himself 10/10 over 50 yards on the season. He was 3 points short of tying an NFL record for most points in a season by a rookie at 144, Walsh ended 2012 with 141 points for the Vikings; which is the team record. His final regular season field goal allowed the Vikings to beat the Green Bay Packers 37-34 and earn a playoff berth. The field goal also tied the NFL record for most field goals by a rookie kicker at 35 with Ali Haji-Sheikh from 1983.

As reward for his standout rookie season, Walsh was selected for the NFC team in the 2013 Pro Bowl.[6] Walsh was also selected to the All-Pro 1st Team.

2013 season[edit]

In 2013's season opener against the Detroit Lions, Walsh tied the record for most consecutive 50 yard or more field goals with eleven, tying with Robbie Gould and Tony Zendejas.[7] Walsh broke the record three weeks later against the Pittsburgh Steelers in London, England with his twelfth straight 50+ yard field goal. On November 24 againist the Green Bay Packers Walsh hit four of four field goals and had five touchbacks off kickoffs; he was named NFC special teams player of the week.

NFL Awards and Honors[edit]

  • 2012 AP All-Pro First Team: Only rookie selected

NFL records[edit]

  • Most field goals of 50 yards or more made in a season - 10 (2012)
  • Most field goals of 50 yards or more made in a season without missing - 10 (2012)
  • Most consecutive field goals of 50 yards or more made - 12 (2012-2013)
  • Most field goals of 37+ yards in a game - 5 (2012) (tied with Chris Boniol and Scott Norwood)
  • Highest field goal percentage in a season by a rookie - 92.1% (2012)
  • Most field goals made in a season by a rookie - 35 (2012) (tied with Ali Haji-Sheikh)

Vikings franchise records[edit]

  • Longest field goal - 56 yards (2012) (tied with Paul Edinger)
  • Most field goals of 50 yards or more in a season - 10 (2012)
  • Most field goals of 50 yards or more without missing in a season - 10 (2012)
  • Most consecutive field foals made of 50+ yards - 12 (2012-2013)
  • Highest FG %, rookie kicker - 92.1% (2012)
  • Straight games making a 50+ yard field goal - 3 (2012)
  • Most points by a rookie in a single season - 141 (2012)[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Blair Walsh nicknames | Souhan on Sports | StarTribune.com
  2. ^ a b Blair Walsh Bio - Georgia Official Athletic Site
  3. ^ Ex-Bulldog kicker Walsh perfect as a pro | AJC Sports News Now
  4. ^ Craig, Mark (December 16, 2012). "Long field goals put rookie kicker in record books". Star Tribune (Minneapolis: Star Tribune). Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Blair Walsh sets NFL record for 50-yard-plus field goals". National Football League. 2012-12-23. Retrieved 2012-12-23. 
  6. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (December 26, 2012). "2013 Pro Bowl roster analysis: NFC". NFL.com (National Football League). Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  7. ^ Mayer, Larry (2013-09-08). "Bennett rebounds from drop with impressive TD". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2013-09-08. Gould has now made 11 straight field goals from 50 yards and beyond, tying the NFL record set by Tony Zendejas from 1988-93. The Vikings' Blair Walsh also tied the mark Sunday. 
  8. ^ Preston, Michael. "Minnesota Vikings rookie K Blair Walsh passes Randy Moss' record". Retrieved 4 January 2013. 

External links[edit]