Former Penn State standout Chris Godwin now knows where the next phase of his football career will take place. The ex-Nittany Lions receiver learned his professional fate Friday night during the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia, selected No. 84 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Godwin, who measured in at 6 feet 1 and 209 pounds at the NFL combine, further bolsters a burgeoning offensive attack headlined by former No. 1 overall draft pick Jameis Winston at quarterback, Pro Bowl receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, and first-round tight end selection O.J. Howard. Godwin became the 11th receiver selected in the draft.
The Penn State product spent three seasons in Happy Valley, recording 154 receptions for 2,421 yards and 18 touchdowns and finishing his collegiate career in strong fashion.
The tradition continues.
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) April 29, 2017
Godwin collected 5 catches for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns in a late November victory against Michigan State. His performance in the Rose Bowl — a 9-reception, 187-yard, 2-score effort — ultimately provided a launching pad for early entrance into the NFL draft.
“Chris has been a leader in our wide receivers’ room and on this team throughout his Penn State career,” Penn State coach James Franklin shared in a statement. “He is one of the top receivers in Penn State history and has made numerous memorable catches throughout his career. We are thankful for all of Chris’ contributions to Penn State football and look forward to seeing him excel on the next level.”
Though he halted a successful collegiate career one year early, Godwin made his mark on the Nittany Lions’ record book. His statistical totals: seventh all-time in receptions, fourth in receiving yards and fourth in touchdown catches.
But how exactly did Godwin get to this point?
Let’s push rewind for a reminder of when this receiver was simply another high school recruit with big dreams. Godwin was a member of the Nittany Lions’ 2014 recruiting class, which also featured All-Big Ten TE Mike Gesicki, starting QB Trace McSorley and MLB Jason Cabinda.
When it came to prospects ratings, industry leaders were quite consistent in their respective assessments of the Middletown (Del.) High School product.
- 247Sports: 4-star prospect; No. 168 overall; No. 25 WR
- ESPN: 4-star prospect; No. 159 overall; No. 21 WR
- Rivals: 4-star prospect; No. 146 overall; No. 21 WR
- Scout: 4-star prospect; No. 224 overall; No. 42 WR
According to his Penn State profile, Godwin helped lead Middletown to a 41-7 record in four varsity seasons, highlighted by a pair of Division I state titles. He earned Gatorade Player of the Year honors in home state as a senior after posting career-best production across the board.
Godwin snagged 55 passes for 1,150 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2013, adding 4 scores as a kick returner. His 18 touchdown catches set a single-season Delaware prep record.
Penn State extended a scholarship offer to Godwin midway through his sophomore season. The Nittany Lions ultimately landed his verbal pledge in April 2013, edging out alternative options such as Ohio State, Stanford, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
“I think I realized it was a great situation for me all over,” Godwin told ESPN at the time. “And, from there, it didn’t seem like I was rushing into it because I knew what I wanted.”