Chris Godwin said he’s honored to represent the state of Delaware at the NFL Scouting Combine, the annual showcase held for 330 top college prospects in preparation for the NFL draft.
Godwin, a wide receiver who starred at Middletown High School and Penn State, is the lone player from Delaware to receive an invite to the Combine, which will be held from Feb. 28 through March 6 in Indianapolis.
No one from the University of Delaware or Delaware State received an invite.
“I take a lot of pride in being from Delaware,” Godwin told the News Journal. “There aren’t too many of us to get invited to the Combine, so this is a great honor for me. One of the things I want to do is open the door for other Delaware athletes. I feel that sometimes good players from Delaware get overlooked.”
That, however, is starting to change. Last year, three former high school stars in Delaware were invited to the Combine in running back Wendell Smallwood, cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun, and tight end David Grinnage. Smallwood was the only one drafted as the Eagles selected him in the fifth round. Boddy-Calhoun was signed as an undrafted free agent and spent most of the season with the Cleveland Browns.
The three were the first Delawareans to get an invite to the Combine since Devon Still in 2012. Still, plays for the Houston Texans.
Two other players with local ties, running back Jhurell Pressley and Wesley quarterback Joe Callahan, didn’t get an invite to the Combine last year, but both finished the season on NFL rosters. Pressley was on the practice squad for the Atlanta Falcons, who reached the Super Bowl, while Callahan was the Green Bay Packers’ third-string quarterback.
That could also happen this season with Delaware natives in West Virginia wide receiver Daikiel Shorts and James Madison cornerback Taylor Reynolds. Neither received an invite to the Combine, but both could get invites to NFL camps after the draft.
Godwin, meanwhile, is projected by many draft experts to go somewhere between the second and fourth rounds in the draft, which will be held April 27-29 in Philadelphia.
Godwin, who’s 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, left Penn State after his junior season in which he had 59 receptions for 982 yards and 11 touchdowns. Godwin had his best game in the Rose Bowl in January, finishing with nine receptions for 187 yards and 2 TDs in the Nittany Lions’ 52-49 loss to Southern Cal.
Godwin’s stats in the Rose Bowl set Penn State records for receptions and yards in a bowl game for a wide receiver. In three seasons, Godwin finished fourth in school history in receiving yards with 2,404, and he became the third wide receiver in school history with 1,000 yards receiving in a season with 1,101 yards as a sophomore.
Godwin said he’s looking forward to the testing that he’ll face at the Combine, knowing that a good performance could help his draft status. He has spent the past several weeks training at the EXOS facility in Pensacola, Florida.
“I’m incredibly excited,” Godwin said. “The NFL is something I’ve worked towards for my entire life and getting invited to the Combine is another check on that checklist. It has taken a lot of work to get to this point, and I’m going to make sure I’m ready for whatever happens.”
Contact Martin Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.