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Get to know Blake Grupe, the rookie who won the kicker competition

A rundown on the rookie’s journey to becoming the Saints starting kicker.

NFL: Preseason-Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

By now, we all know that Blake Grupe has replaced Will Lutz as the kicker for the New Orleans Saints. Despite all the hype and chatter behind the decision, Grupe was very humble about the situation. “It’s been a wild ride,” “Thankful for everything that’s come. It doesn’t come easy. It comes with a lot of hard work, and just thankful for it all.”

Grupe played college football at Arkansas State and was the all-time scoring leader but later transferred to Notre Dame. He decided he wanted to spend his sixth season in a bigger spotlight with the Fighting Irish after setting a Red Wolves scoring record. The Sedalia, MO native wanted a challenge.

Grupe scored 354 points during his career and tied a Sun Belt record with 64 made field goals. The longest of his career was 50 yards, which he made this past season, and his last three seasons were 15-23 from 40-49 yards. Additionally, he attempted 162 extra points in his career.

He earned first-team All-Sun Belt honors after the 2019 season and was a second-team player after the 2021 season. In 2019, he was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, which goes to the nation’s best placekicker. He ranked 6th nationally in scoring among kickers that season with 110 points.

Notre Dame was attracted to his experience and history of success as they look to replace veteran Jonathan Doerer, who was out of eligibility. He was a backup kicker for the Fighting Irish in 2020, but he won the starting job in 2021. He made 16 of 19 field goals in 2021, and he was named to the All-ACC third team. Grupe was a letter winner in football, soccer and baseball at Smith-Cotton High School in Sedalia and rated as a 4 1⁄2 star kicker by Kohl’s Kicking Academy. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration in the spring of 2020.

After spending all of 2022 with the Irish, Grupe went undrafted in the 2023 NFL Draft and later signed with the Saints.

Fast forward, Grupe kicks his first game winning field goal against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1 of the 2023 NFL Preseason, but not without a few hiccups on his premiere game.

Later in the 3rd and final game of the 2023 preseason, Grupe nailed a 38-yard and 50-yard field goal against the Houston Texans despite losing against the Texans 17-13.

How do you think Blake Grupe will fit in on the team? Will he be able to make the critical extra points and field goals in clutch when needed? Let us know in the comments below.

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