Penn State was not without depth at wide receiver in 2016.
They had Daesean Hamilton, Saeed Blacknall, De’Andre Thompkins and a boatload of other weapons.
None, however, had the impact of junior wideout Chris Godwin. Godwin was the go-to weapon for Trace McSorley in his breakout season. Over the course of the season he hauled in 59 catches for 982 yards and 11 touchdowns on the way to an all-time great season for a Penn State wide receiver.
Most importantly, however, Godwin was McSorley’s safety valve. Time and again when the gunslinger was in trouble he would look to find number 12. This was none more evident than when Godwin, in perhaps the most important game of the season, came up with a clutch, diving catching for McSorley to help PSU drive down and tie the game again Minnesota. Not only did that catch turn the momentum in Penn State’s favor in that game, it turned the momentum in Penn State’s favor for the season.
Godwin was the picture of consistency for James Franklin this season, making at least one catch in 13 of the Nittany Lions’ 14 games. When the lights were brightest, Godwin shone.
His Rose Bowl performance against USC was perhaps the best performance of his career. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior made nine receptions for 187 yards and two touchdowns including a remarkable juggling catch in the third quarter that sent Penn State fans into a frenzy.
In an offense which predicates its success on the receivers winning their one-on-one battles, perhaps nobody was better than Godwin. Few receivers in the country were as good as Godwin at high-pointing the football, going up and making a play.
Additionally, Godwin is one of the best blocking wide receivers in the nation. His blocking on the edge regularly helped to spring running back Saquon Barkley. Combined with his ball skills, Godwin’s blocking will be what sets him apart at the next level.
In a magical Penn State season, Chris Godwin was the ringmaster.