Sept. 13, 2012
ATHENS --- Whenever Blake Sailors walks onto the field for Georgia he is doing more than just playing football. He is further entrenching the Sailors name into Georgia folklore.
Both Blake and his older brother Josh have earned letters for the Bulldogs, playing together in 2010. Their father, David Sailors (MD), is Georgia’s clinician for vascular surgery. Rhonda Kilpatrick, Sailors’ aunt, is Director of Academics and Eligibility at Georgia. His father’s role with the team means that Blake has his dad on the sideline for every game.
“With my dad, I will go up to him during games and ask him some questions because I tell him to watch me,” Sailors said. “ I ask him to tell me who is blocking me, tell me how I did or what I need to do different.”
Since coming to Georgia and taking a redshirt as a walk-on in 2009, Sailors has earned a prominent role on several of Georgia’s special teams units.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s the only thing I get to go out there and do on the field so I’m going to do the best I can every play,” Sailors said. “I want to try to make every play I can so people can think I’m doing everything. That’s how I want to do it and it’s fun.”
Despite coming to Georgia as a cornerback from Oconee County High School, Sailors has adjusted to performing almost exclusively on special teams. The Watkinsville, Ga., native said that knowing this will be his primary job actually helps before and during a game.
“It obviously makes it easier on me because it’s the only thing I’m doing. I’m not as gassed as maybe other guys are,” Sailors said. “I’m able to push myself as hard as I can on those plays knowing that’s the only thing I’m doing in a game. Some guys I’m going against are starting and other stuff, so I can run by them and that’s always good.”
Georgia’s special teams were criticized last season having given up damaging kick and punt returns. Sailors, however, said the 2012 unit is much improved.
“I think it’s good this year. We’ve got a bunch of veterans back that have been doing special teams for a couple of years now. We’re all focusing on that and everybody knows that special teams is going to be a huge part of the game,” Sailors said. “In the first game, we had the kickoff return (for a touchdown) and blocked punt, and the last game we had a bunch of tackles. If we have them backed up, it’ll help our defense and our offense a lot.”
In the Bulldogs’ two games this year Sailors has recorded four tackles, including a big hit in Georgia’s 41-20 victory at Missouri.
Sailors, who earned a scholarship in August of 2011, said he now considers himself one of the veterans of the special teams.
“I’ve been doing this for three years; it’s the only thing I can do,” he said. “I think I’m pretty good at it. I can talk to some of the young guys and tell them some tips about what I do. I’ve talked to a couple of guys at practice, or they’ll come up and ask me questions about what I do and certain stuff, so I think I am a veteran.”