Penn State Player Spotlight: Chris Godwin
Chris Godwin has high expectations coming into his third active year as a Penn State receiver. Not only did he lead with 1,101 receiving yards his sophomore year, he also led with 69 receptions. Godwin cemented himself as the team’s best receiver and was named second team All-Big Ten to end the year.
With the new faster-paced offense under Joe Moorehead and Trace McSorley as the starting quarterback, it’s going to be interesting to see how Godwin performs with more deep shots down the field.
Chris Godwin is a Delaware native, a state that doesn’t produce many Div-1 athletes. However, he was a sought after prospect and landed offers from big programs such as Ohio State, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech. Penn State, of course, was also on his list. Just like most Penn State students, not only athletes, there is always that one memorable moment on campus that drives your decision to be a Nittany Lion. The 2014 Blue-White game and the Beaver Stadium atmosphere did it for Godwin. He made the decision even with the transition of coaching from Bill O’Brien to James Franklin.
With the loss of notable receiver Allen Robinson in Godwin’s first year on the team, it was no surprise that he didn’t redshirt and played as a true freshman. It took him a few games to get his game going and had a satisfactory freshman year, until the Pinstripe Bowl against Boston College. In Godwin’s most noteworthy game, he ended his first year on the grounds of Yankee Stadium with a 7-catch, 140-yard, 1 touchdown game in Penn State’s Pinstripe Bowl victory. That outing was the moment Penn State fans knew Godwin would be a special asset to the football program and he never looked back after that breakout game.
With Godwin’s performance at the Pinstripe Bowl and proving to be one of Big Ten’s best receivers in 2015, where he regularly made the most difficult plays in tight coverage look routine, there are high hopes for the wide receiver to perform with a more prolific offense.
Godwin and Penn State’s receivers as a whole are successful because of their hard work on the field and competition within the group. The receiving team is talented and extremely deep, returning Saeed Blacknall, DaeSean Hamilton, and other gifted players. Competition between the receivers for a starting spot fuels hard work and a dedicated mindset.
“Practice is always really competitive, being that we have a really deep group. We know we have to go out there and work each and every day,” Godwin said. “If you want your starting spot, you have to go out and earn it each and every day.”
Against Kent State, one of the best defenses in the MAC, Godwin produced 67 yards on 7 receptions and each receiver had a pleasing performance. For the first game of the season and implementing a new offense, it was a good start. However, Pittsburgh has an even tougher secondary that Godwin and the receiving unit need to get through.
“As far as Pitt’s secondary, they’re a really talented group. They have some experience coming back and they’re a really aggressive group as well,” Godwin said. “It’s going to take a lot of time and practice, watching film, seeing what they do well and what they can do better. We have to try to attack that using my technique and using our technique as receivers.”
Penn State and Pittsburgh are set to play at Heinz field at noon this Saturday in the “Keystone Classic”. In-state recruiting can be a huge factor depending on the outcome, which puts a lot more pressure on the players to perform. However, Godwin has a cool head this week and is used to playing under pressure.
“It’s an honor to play in a Penn State game period. I’m honored to be a part of this program, so each and every time I get a chance to step on the field I’m excited about that,” Godwin said. “The history behind this game, it makes it pretty cool.”
Alissa Devine is a Junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her email firstname.lastname@example.org.