Senior wide receiver Terry Godwin had four catches in his four game appearances of the 2018 season. He totaled 46 yards and no touchdowns, with his longest catch being 15 yards.
That all changed in the first quarter of Georgia’s win over Vanderbilt on Saturday.
On Georgia’s first offensive drive of the game, Godwin missed one pass from sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm, and missed the following catch in pass breakup, which forced Georgia to punt. He started to blocked and missed the signals which would have prepared him to catch the pass, Godwin said.
"He would have had one more play if he would have run the right route on the first drive. I'll throw him under the bus there on that one,” Fromm said. “It was good to see him back out there to make the plays he needs to make. Terry [Godwin] is a great athlete, and it's great having him back and almost to the potential he needs to play at.”
His mistake didn’t stand for long, though. Fromm then connected with Godwin on the next offensive drive from Georgia’s 25-yard line. Godwin turned and ran for 75 yards for a touchdown.
Once Godwin caught the ball he said Vanderbilt’s cornerback Joejuan Williams reached in try and strip the ball from him. He spun off Williams to avoid the strip and scooted past Vanderbilt’s cornerback Donovan Sheffield into the end zone. It was Godwin’s first touchdown of the season and the longest run of his career.
“[Fromm] still believed in me on that play, and threw me the ball,” Godwin said. “And I knew in my eyes I just had to catch it. And once I caught it I knew I was inside the [5-yard line], so I can’t get tackled. That’s our rule in our receiver room, don’t get tackled in the [5-yard line].”
Godwin’s presence on the field this season has been limited because of injuries. Godwin battled a knee injury at the beginning of the season, causing him to miss the home opener against Austin Peay. He was slightly frustrated with the injury, he said, because when an injury first happens there is always a bit of frustration in not having the ability to practice and compete for the team.
He returned to action against South Carolina where he recorded one catch. He then took a hit in the shin in the game against Middle Tennessee and did not play after half time.
Godwin returned again for Georgia’s matchup against Missouri and caught one pass for eight yards. He had two catches for 26 yards against Tennessee. After a slow start to his senior season, Godwin’s touchdown pass not only put Georgia on the scoreboard but also marked his biggest contribution this season.
"Terry [Godwin] has worked hard every day,” Smart said. “I’ve seen him work like that every week, so I thought it was big for him to get that catch and get over top and behind the defense. I kind of see that in him every day in practice, because he works that way.”
His role in the wide receiver corps has been an important one in his four years. Some of his 2017 season contributions highlight his career. He was the second-leading receiver, with 38 catches for 639 yards and six touchdowns. He brought down a 5-yard reception against Notre Dame in the end zone for a touchdown, led the receivers in the SEC championship with five catches for 48 yards, a touchdown and a 2-point conversion, and had four catches for 48 yards in the national championship game against Alabama.
Godwin had just one touchdown catch this season until the third quarter of the matchup against Vanderbilt. He added another catch to his record when he caught a pass from freshman quarterback Justin Fields for 20 yards.
While this season’s stats don't highlight the important asset he is to the wide receivers, Godwin continues to showcase his capabilities on the field when necessary. His touchdown against Vanderbilt after two missed catches shows both his skills and his place in the wide receiver group.
“With guys like [Jake] Fromm and other guys on the team, they are always on my back at practice because they hold me to the standard that I hold myself to,” Godwin said. “And it’s a very high standard, and they just always keep me there, and I can’t do nothing but thank them.”