NCF On The Trail: Terry Godwin

ATHENS, Ga. -- As Mark Richt strolled up to his jet black podium to address the media about Georgia’s 2015 signing class, there didn’t appear to be a hint of angst. Richt, as laid back a coach as you'll find, simply slid to the front of the room, bright lights beaming down on behind him, and happily discussed yet another top-10 class for the Bulldogs.

"We are absolutely thrilled about these young men and can't wait to see them do their thing,” Richt said. “Some of them are already here doing their thing a little bit.”

 It was easy for Richt grin ear-to-ear and have some enthusiasm in his voice. Outside of some afternoon theatrics, Richt and his crew had a pretty stress-free day in Athens. Thanks to a stellar and steady recruiting effort from the start, Georgia had most of its class secured in the morning. By 10 a.m., the Dawgs had already secured 22 signees (eight early enrollees). At the end of the day, Georgia had signed 29 players, 18 of which were four-star players or better, including 14 ESPN 300 members

Richt, who has been criticized in the past for not keeping top players at home, had little problem securing in-state talent, as the top-seven players in this class hailed from the state of Georgia, including No. 2 overall defensive tackle -- and five-star stud -- Trenton Thompson, and No. 5 athlete Terry Godwin.

Despite a couple of late flips and the continuing saga of four-star linebacker Roquan Smith and his decision, the Dawgs made out quite well on national signing day. They even concluded the day with the unnecessarily theatrical signing from Godwin, who prolonged his ceremony until 6 p.m. ET, for, you know, dramatic effect.

While there was no real early drama for the Dawgs, this class hit on the necessary needs. In a year in which Georgia unflatteringly came in second in the SEC Eastern Division, rumors swirled and intensified about Richt’s coaching future, and long-time offensive coordinator Mike Bobo left to become the head coach at Colorado State, Georgia didn’t miss a recruiting beat.

No, the Dawgs coasted to a signing day finish line without many bumps or bruises, and could still land another big fish in Smith to cap off the school’s fifth straight top-10 recruiting class, and seventh in the past eight years.

Where Georgia really struck gold was with its defensive line class. With just five scholarship linemen returning, Richt and his crew went out and signed six players destined for the defensive line. Two -- defensive tackle Jonathan Ledbetter, a four-star who flipped from Alabama, and four-star defensive end Michael Barnett -- enrolled early, giving Georgia more room to rotate up front this spring.

“You've got to have the beef up front, both sides of the ball,” Richt said. “You've got to have guys that can command double teams. You've got to have guys that can hopefully put pressure on a quarterback without having to bring blitzes and things of that nature, guys that can be stout in their run gap responsibilities and not get pushed around. It's truly important to have the big men up front. I think we did a good job there."

And the thing about this defensive line haul is that it’s both quantity and quality. With so little depth coming back up front, it was imperative that Georgia’s staff go out and sign quality numbers. Georgia did just that, and might have landed the nation’s best defensive line class.

“I’m pretty glad that we’re known as one of the best defensive line groups,” Barnett said. “Hopefully, it pans out that way, as the season comes along. I’m just happy to be a part of that group.”

The headliner is Thompson, who should push for immediate playing time when he gets on campus. The 6-foot-4, 311-pound monster in the middle was a critical piece to Georgia’s class, and Richt wasn’t shy about gushing over Thompson’s talents.

“Trent is a big, massive man who has got great agility,” Richt said. “If you meet him, he's just the nicest guy you ever want to meet, but when he's playing ball, he gets after it. He's just got tremendous quickness for a big man, changes direction, plays very hard, and I think probably the reason why he got rated as high as he did is when you start taking these guys and bringing them to allstar games or combines or whatever and you start letting them compete with some of the best, the word I got from some of those kids in those situations were like, the guy just was very difficult to handle by anybody.”

And the hope in Athens is that adding a class like this will increase the Dawgs’ chances of being difficult to handle this fall. With the East still littered with questions, Georgia once again has the talent to take the division. Getting out of its own way appears to be Georgia’s biggest obstacle, but the new guys are noticing a fiery attitude early and bitterness toward last season.

“When I talk to [teammates] I get chills,” JUCO linebacker transfer Chuks Amaechi said. “When they talk, you can hear it in their voices that they’re hungry for a championship.”

Best of the visits: SEC

January, 25, 2015
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This is the second to last weekend before signing day and there was a ton of big visitors around the Southeastern Conference. Here is a closer look at some of the top social media posts by prospects who visited SEC schools over the weekend.

Three-star defensive tackle Tyrell Jacobs gave his verbal commitment to Missouri over the weekend. He tweeted out a few photos of himself posing in a Missouri game jersey.

Georgia safety Rashad Roundtree posted a photo of himself and Georgia head coach Mark Richt during his visit to Athens over the weekend.

Five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson and ESPN 300 outside linebacker Jeffery Holland took a visit to Ole Miss over the weekend and tweeted out a photo.

ESPN 300 wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge tweeted out a photo of one of the most impressive cakes you will ever see. Lodge took a visit to Ole Miss and had this impressive culinary masterpiece waiting for him upon his arrival.

Auburn linebacker commit Richard McBryde posted a photo of himself with head coach Gus Malzhan and another two photos of himself with new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.

Georgia athlete commit Terry Godwin posed a for a picture with his family during his Alabama visit.

Miami running back commit Jordan Scarlett and uncommitted running back Jordan Cronkite both visited Florida this weekend and posed together for a photo in Florida's locker room.

Five-star defensive back Iman Marshall tweeted a photo of himself and LSU defensive line coach Ed Orgeron during his visit to LSU over the weekend.

South Carolina commit Jalen Christian tweeted a photo of himself and head coach Steve Spurrier during his visit to Columbia.

ESPN 300 wide receiver Brandon Martin confused some people on Saturday when he tweeted that he was not committed to Missouri despite several reports. He quickly corrected the tweet and meant to say "I am now committed to Missouri." The error gave Missouri fans a scare for a few minutes.

Miami running back commit Mark Walton had maybe the most interesting wardrobe on his weekend visit to Georgia.

































SEC's top recruiting visits 

January, 23, 2015
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Signing day is less than two weeks away, and there are only two remaining weekends for prospects to take official visits. Other prospects who have already taken all five of their allowed official visits will take unofficial visits to help decide where they will want to attend school. Here is a closer look at some of the top visits to watch in the SEC over the weekend.

Alabama

The Crimson Tide have already put together an unbelievable class, and are hoping to top it off with one or two more prospects. Long-time Georgia commit Terry Godwin will take an official visit to Alabama just a week after taking a visit to Auburn last weekend. Georgia still appears to be the front-runner, but anything can happen when a recruit goes on a visit.

Auburn safety commit Darrell Williams is also visiting Alabama this weekend. Williams had heavy interest in Alabama before making his pledge to Auburn early in the process. He will certainly be one to watch.

LSU

The Tigers, after the commitment of ESPN 300 defensive back Donte' Jackson this week, are up to 17 commits, including seven ranked in the ESPN 300, and are hoping to add a few more key prospects on signing day. Five-star Ohio State athlete commit Torrance Gibson, fresh off an Auburn visit, will visit LSU. The dual-threat quarterback has been concerned about the logjam at quarterback at Ohio State, and both LSU and Auburn run offenses that suit his playing style.

In addition to Gibson, another five-star prospect -- defensive back Iman Marshall -- will also take a trip to Baton Rouge. Marshall has kept his recruitment close to the vest, but the Tigers have already put together an incredible defensive back class. Four-star offensive lineman Toby Weathersby will also take a visit to LSU this weekend. Running back commit Derrius Guice will visit LSU this weekend, and announced on Twitter that he will take a visit to Alabama next weekend. Obviously the LSU coaching staff would like to nail down his commitment and prevent Guice from taking that final visit to Alabama.

Florida

Best of the visits: SEC

January, 18, 2015
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Auburn hosted an incredible seven five-star prospects over the weekend, while Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Texas A&M and other SEC schools also had big recruiting weekends. Here’s a closer look at some of the top sights and sounds from the weekend visitors.

Three-star linebacker Dwaine Thomas flipped his commitment from Louisiana-Lafayette to Texas A&M on Saturday afternoon. Thomas tweeted out a photo of himself wearing an Aggies jersey and helmet.


Auburn had a huge recruiting weekend. Here are several photos prospects tweeted out over the course of the weekend:

Georgia commit Terry Godwin posing with Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn.


Five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson posing with a young fan after Auburn’s basketball game Saturday night.

Byron Cowart posted an Instagram photo of himself along with Jefferson and four-star linebacker Jeffery Holland on Auburn’s field.

#wareagle @holland_jeff @cecejeferson7

A photo posted by Byron Cowart (@byroncowart99) on


Auburn commit Jordan Colbert posted several pictures of other targets wearing Auburn jerseys in the Tigers locker room.


ESPN 300 defensive end Arden Key took an official visit to LSU with his family. Here are a few photos of his time in Baton Rouge.


Alabama also had a big recruiting weekend. Here is a photo of Arkansas wide receiver commit K.J. Hill, Miami receiver commit Lawrence Cager and Alabama safety commit Rico McGraw.


Here's Alabama commit Adonis Thomas in a Crimson Tide uniform.


Tennessee commit Kyle Phillips tweeted a photo of several Tennessee commits goofing around.


Mississippi State wide receiver commit Farrod Green tweeted a photo of himself in a Bulldogs uniform.


Virginia Tech commit Houshun Gaines poses for a picture with Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason.


Kentucky commit Jeremiah Dinson poses with uncommitted cornerback Rashad Fenton at the University of Florida.


Florida commit Tyler Jordan and South Carolina commit Christian Pellage pose for a picture while at Florida.


Another Florida commit, Mike Horton, tweeted out a photo of him in a Gators jersey.


With 30 days to national signing day, there are still plenty of headlines left to be made in the 2015 class. One of the biggest will be how Jim Harbaugh does in recruiting’s home stretch.


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No. 5 athlete Terry Godwin has been committed to UGA for almost a year, but that commitment is being tested and he’s doing a good job of keeping folks guessing about his final destination.

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UA Day 3: Best sights and sounds

December, 31, 2014
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Day 3 of practice at the Under Armour All-America Game was a little more fast-paced and a little more intense. The prospects were intense and dialed in all day, even resulting in a few tempers flaring throughout the day. Here’s a look at some of the top plays from the day.

Iman Marshall with nice coverage on receiver Calvin Ridley.


Defensive tackle Daylon Mack one-on-one against Fred Ulu-Perry.


Receiver Tyron Johnson snags a one-handed catch.


A trio of defensive linemen swarm quarterback Deondre Francois.


Defensive end Arden Key blows by the offensive lineman.


Receiver Terry Godwin showing off his commitment through his socks.


The long-snappers showing off their trick snaps.


Alabama quarterback commit Blake Barnett warming up.


Oregon defensive end commit Canton Kaumatule has been impressive all week.


Running back Damien Harris showing off his soft hands.

UA Day 2: Best sights and sounds

December, 30, 2014
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. -- The players are starting to get more and more comfortable as we moved into Day 2 of practice for Friday's Under Armour All-America Game. Day 1 was dominated by defensive linemen, but the offensive linemen are starting to catch up and showed a ton of progress on the second day.

Here is a look at some of those players who have progressed and video of the top plays on the day.

Kai Locksley is committed to Florida State as a quarterback but has done well at receiver in practice.

Future Florida State teammates Deondre Francois and George Campbell connect on a passing play.

Quite a few players and media have taken notice of Oregon commit Canton Kaumatule.

Wide receiver Terry Godwin, a Georgia commit, with a nice move for a catch in 7-on-7.

The offensive linemen started to gain some comfort on the second day of practice.

Defensive lineman Jalen Dalton flies past his competition.

Drew Richmond is an offensive lineman who has been on his game.

Defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko and offensive lineman Toby Weathersby got into a heated one-on-one battle. Fehoko came out on top and had his family screaming from the sidelines.

Receiver Christian Kirk has already made a ton of great plays.

Wide receiver Paul Lucas has made a name for himself.

Defensive back Kevin Toliver in coverage.

Defensive back Iman Marshall knows how to talk smack.

UA Day 1: Best sights and sounds

December, 29, 2014
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Several players made incredible plays on Day 1 of the Under Armour All-America game practices. Byron Cowart had several sacks, quarterbacks Kyler Murray, Deondre Francois and Brandon Wimbush all made impressive throws, and Notre Dame commit Shaun Crawford had a big pass breakup. Here’s a closer look at some of the top plays caught on camera.

Notre Dame pledge Shaun Crawford with nearly perfect technique on a pass breakup of a pass intended for George Campbell.

Quarterback Kyler Murray with a beautiful touchdown pass.

George Campbell coming down with the catch.

Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins against Alabama recruit Richie Petitbon.

Georgia recruit Terry Godwin makes a catch against Iman Marshall.

Quarterback Deondre Francois with a nice touchdown pass over the middle.

UNC OL pledge Tommy Hatton winning a battle against the No. 1-ranked player in the country, Terry Beckner Jr.

Oregon recruit Canton Kaumatule with a great spin move to win his one-on-one battle.

Byron Cowart with a nice move on Drew Richmond for the sack of Blake Barnett.

South Carolina commit Arden Key with the tackle.

Brandon Wimbush with a nice touch pass.

Recruiting notebook: Under Armour game 

December, 29, 2014
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Orlando, FLA. -- The first day of practice at the Under Armour All-America game went smoothly as the players transitioned into work mode. The recruits got the chance to build chemistry with their teammates and learn the playbooks for the actual game.

With so many highly ranked prospects in one spot there is no surprise that news continues to roll in.


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Best of the visits: Pac-12

December, 7, 2014
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While Arizona and Oregon spent last week focused on battling for the Pac-12 title, several other conference teams were preparing to host significant recruiting weekends. Colorado, USC, Washington and Washington State all had a number of official visitors on hand, as the recruiting season ramped up another notch following the conclusion of the regular season. Here is a look at those visit weekends through the eyes of recruits on social media.

Buffs' weekend stampede

Colorado coaches made a dedicated push to bring in a number of uncommitted visitors -- along with a couple committed prospects -- in what turned out to be their biggest recruiting weekend of the year thus far. Buff commits Lausii Sewell and T.J. Fehoko were in attendance and looked to help the coaches make headway with ESPN 300 defensive end Mika Tafua, along with junior college prospect Afolabi Laguda and linebacker Gabe Sewell.

It's never easy to make a recruiting trip all the way out from Hawaii, and Tafua -- along with Utah commit Tuli Wily-Matagi -- definitely took a red-eye out to visit Colorado.
For several other commitments, donning the jerseys and checking out the locker room proved to be a high point. Cougars stock up on juco defenders

Washington State landed commitments from four junior college teammates this weekend. It started with cornerback Treshon Broughton, who flipped his commitment from Oregon State. The Cougars then hosted DeVante Wilson, Jonah Moi and Jeremiah Mitchell on official visits and landed commitments from all three. The Cougars also had defensive end Mufi Hunt on campus for an official visit. Hunt has offers or interest from a number of Pac-12 programs, but his connection to several members of the Washington State staff is strong. Huskies host prospects

Across the state, Washington played host to several official visitors as well. Two-way standout Octavius Spencer has seen his recruitment take off following his senior season, as Cal, Oregon, UCLA and Washington have now all offered. This past weekend, Spencer took his official visit to see the Huskies. Also at Washington this past weekend was a very interesting visitor, in ESPN 300 running back Austin Joyner. The standout running back and cornerback initially committed to the previous staff of the Huskies, but eventually pulled back when Steve Sarkisian and company left for USC. Joyner then made a commitment to Washington State, but took that back when two Cougars defensive coaches were let go. The visit to Washington this past weekend will be followed by a trip to Boise State this coming weekend. While the Cougars are still in the mix for Joyner, this recruitment could get interesting, with several programs looking to land an ESPN 300 prospect who could play on either side of the ball. Big weekend for Trojans

USC didn't receive official visits from ESPN 300 prospects Christian Kirk or Porter Gustin, which had been planned, but the Trojans did get six official visitors on campus this past weekend -- four of them from uncommitted prospects.

The farthest traveler was ESPN 300 athlete Terry Godwin, the nation's No. 38 prospect, who shared this photo from inside the Coliseum. Also on hand was the nation's No. 24 juco prospect, wide receiver Isaac Whitney, who has USC among his final choices and will announce his decision on Dec. 18.

Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

December, 5, 2014
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The regular season might be over, but that just means the recruiting season will be heating up, and the Pac-12 will host at least two significant weekends. Also, the nation’s No. 5 overall prospect is scheduled to be on a Pac-12 campus this weekend

Colorado


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SEC's top recruiting visits 

November, 14, 2014
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The Mississippi State at Alabama game looks to be loaded with big-time visitors. Georgia is also expecting several ESPN 300 prospects for its game against Auburn and Florida is hoping continue its momentum against South Carolina in front of several recruits. Here’s a closer look at some of the top visitors in the SEC this weekend.


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SEC's top recruiting visits 

October, 24, 2014
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There are again some big games around the SEC this weekend. The Ole Miss at LSU game looks to be loaded with big-time visitors. Tennessee is sure to bring in several high-profile recruits for its game against rival Alabama and Auburn is hoping to reel in a few top prospects for its game against South Carolina. Here’s a closer look at some of the top visitors in the SEC this weekend.

Alabama at Tennessee


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ESPN 300 athlete Terry Godwin was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey Friday afternoon in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. The ceremony took place in front of family, friends, teammates, classmates and school faculty on the campus of Callaway High in Hogansville, Georgia.

Today was the first time Godwin has had the chance to put on an Under Armour All-America Game jersey, which he sees as the culmination of a lot of hard work.

"I mean, it means so much," Godwin said. "It shows that I have put in a lot of work over the years to receive this honor."

The consummate teammate, Godwin looks more to the importance of this honor for the Callaway High community being the first to be selected in the prestigious game.

"The school loves it! The community is very happy," he said. "We feel like it will help put our little town on the globe!"

Godwin committed to Georgia on Jan. 18 and has remained in the fold for Mark Richt despite making a number of unofficial visits to Auburn and Alabama. He plans to make official visit to Georgia, Auburn and Alabama, with USC and Texas A&M possibilities.


Eight questions with Terry Godwin

Is there any one player you are looking forward to competing against at the Under Armour All-America Game and practices?

Godwin:
Oh yes sir there is. One of my friends, Iman Marshall, is playing and he's one of the top cornerbacks in the country. Iman and Kevin Toliver will be there, and I want to go up against the best CBs in the class. I want to see if I have what it takes at the next level.

If you were to start a team with any other player in your class, who would it be and why?

Godwin:
I would say Roquan Smith and Trenton Thompson. Ever since I've been going to camps, I have been impressed with them. I think that they would start up the defense on a team, and I could start up the offense. That would be a great team.

Who is the best player to ever play in the Under Armour game that you know of?

Godwin:
I would have to say [Jadeveon] Clowney. With a man that size, that tall and can move like he does that says a lot. Guys that big aren't supposed to move like that. He's proven he was No. 1 out of high school.

What is your earliest football memory?

Godwin:
Probably about seventh grade. I got a kick return, went sideline-to-sideline three times, and then finally turned it up the field and scored [laughing].

Which football player did you idolize or want to be like when you were a kid?

Godwin:
Back then, I would have to say Ray Lewis. I was a defensive guy back then, and he was a beast. Anyone that came over the middle of the field got laid out by 52.

If you could take on any pro player in their sport, who would it be?

Godwin:
LeBron James in basketball. In basketball, he's the man and I would like to go against one of the best of all time in their sport.

What number do you wear and why?

Godwin:
I have worn No. 4 ever since I was a freshman in high school. My cousin Quan Bray, who played in the Under Armour Game, wore No. 4 when he got to college at Auburn too.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Godwin:
I have to say that I'm a shy guy, and a big family guy.

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