UGA Football

Entering junior season, Godwin has better understanding of Georgia’s offense

Georgia wide receiver Terry Godwin (5) during a Georgia spring practice.
Georgia wide receiver Terry Godwin (5) during a Georgia spring practice. Georgia Sports Communications

Plenty of talk has surrounded Terry Godwin since the end of last season.

The conversation hasn’t, unfortunately for him, always been positive. Instead, a lot of it dealt with what some considered a disappointing sophomore campaign as Godwin caught 38 passes for 397 yards for Georgia in 2016. None of those receptions ended with him in the end zone.

Godwin admitted he has heard the criticism, but he said none of it has affected him.

“I wouldn’t say I disappeared,” Godwin said when asked about his lack of game-breaking plays last season. “I was just filling in the role the coaches wanted me to play and what the playbook allowed me to do. So if that’s what’s called for, then that’s what I’m going to do.”

Pressed further, Godwin says nothing specifically “held me back” last season. Still, he refused to guarantee his individual statistics would trend upward this fall.

While Godwin didn’t want to place outsized expectations on himself, teammate Isaac Nauta had no problem with it.

“I think Terry can have a huge year,” said Nauta, a sophomore tight end. “He’s a great player. He’s a really good route runner, catches the ball consistently. So I think Terry is going to have a big year.”

Godwin’s most improved attribute, Nauta said, is knowing every responsibility he has on the field.

“That’s a big part of it,” Nauta said. “A lot of people think it’s just run around, catch the ball and run with it. But you’ve got to read defenses when you’re running routes and you’ve got to know where you’ve got to be and what you’ve got to do. And it takes more than just one season to get it. Going into year (three), I think he’s got a better grip on it mentally and that’s definitely helping him.”

Godwin didn’t dispute Nauta’s assessment as he said he has the Bulldogs’ offensive playbook — specifically his duties at receiver — committed to memory.

“I know where the holes are in the defense now, how to run certain routes, how to get off certain releases — the little things that are going to make you great,” he said.

He also expanded upon Nauta’s claim that playing receiver — especially given the caliber of athletes in the ultra-competitive SEC — isn’t nearly as easy as one might think.

“If you’re on the outside looking in, you’d think we’re just out there running a route or whatever,” Godwin said. “But it’s pretty hard, because you’re running and trying to read the defense on the fly and run a certain route or run a different route. There’s a lot of techniques and a lot of knowledge going into that route.”

As comfortable as he’s ever been, Godwin has used this spring to try to impart knowledge to the Bulldogs’ young wideouts.

“I just tell them the same thing (wide receivers) Coach (James) Coley told me and some of the guys that have been here before me,” Godwin said. “I just try to give them (advice) and little (insight) here and there, just to learn the little things. You get the little things right, the big things will come right after that.”

The biggest accomplishment of all, Godwin hopes, awaits at the end of the coming season.

“A successful season for me is just helping my team win the national championship,” Godwin said. “That’s what is going to be our goal this year.”