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Penn State Football's Top 10 in 2015: No. 4 Chris Godwin

For the next two weeks, BSD will be counting down the best performers for the Nittany Lions this past year, as voted on by our staff. Next up, the breakout wide receiver who became the favorite target, Chris Godwin.

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Chris Godwin 2015 Stats
Receptions 69
Yards 1101
YPC 16.0
Touchdowns 5
Reception Share 35.9%

Where were you when Chris Godwin burst onto the scene? Were you in the Bronx, watching from home, or half-passed out in a gutter in Manhattan, streaming it on your phone? No matter your viewing locale, if you had your eyes open you saw a star born. Godwin, to that point a little-used freshman receiver, decided to do horrible things to the Boston College secondary. At the end of the night, after all the Ficken hugs and "this is culture" screams, Godwin had seven catches for 140 yards and a touchdown, including a massive 72 yard bomb. It was a stern warning of things to come for opposing defenses.

That game, Godwin took the mantle of Christian Hackenberg's favorite target from DaeSean Hamilton, and he hasn't looked back since. Godwin was a monster in 2015, with a very nice 69 catches to lead the team, and ended up second in all-purpose yards behind Saquon Barkley. In a massively expanded role, he managed to increase his yards per catch to 16.0, both a function of his playmaking ability and Penn State's reliance on big plays. He had at least three catches in every game, and showed up big when it mattered. He had 11 catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns against playoff-bound MSU, four catches for 135 yards and a touchdown in the war against Maryland, and had three catches for 103 yards against Ohio State. Oh, and he had 17 catches of 20+ yards.

Beyond just the surface, Godwin got better as the season wore on. In the second half of the season, starting with the Ohio State game, he averaged 101.6 yards on 6.5 receptions per game, and scored four of his five touchdowns. He provided excellent value both on big gains and on making things happen when he caught the ball, with solid YAC numbers considering how little time the Penn State offense had for routes to develop. His already strong route running became arguably the best on the team, and his ability to shake corners and create separation propelled him to new heights. Other than Barkley, he was the most important weapon the team had on offense, and they went to him frequently. Whether in the dink-and-dunk schemes Donovan favored or the deep balls that played to Hack's strengths, Godwin excelled.

Nobody knows what the offense will look like next year with Hack gone and Moorhead in place, but Godwin showed he can succeed in almost any circumstance. Now that all the words are out of the way, here are some tuddies: