Godkin Proud to Be a Mid

Daniel Godkin was all set and ready to go to the University of Nevada. The state's #2-ranked player according to Scout.com, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound pass rusher figured to give Chris Ault's defense a much needed lift once he got to Reno. There was only one problem, however, and that was that Godkin fell in love with another college: The United States Naval Academy.

When The Las Vegas Sun reported last week that Palo Verde (NV) star Daniel Godkin had switched his college commitment from Nevada to Navy, more than a few heads turned. Despite their recent success on the field, Navy seldom receives commitments from such highly regarded prep players, and almost never nabs defensive players with the kind of resume as Godkin.

As Scout.com's 67th ranked defensive end prospect in the country, Godkin had scholarship offers from Navy, Nevada, UNLV, Wyoming and Northern Arizona before finally deciding to commit to his hometown Wolf Pack program in December. Godkin recently explained to GoMids.com in an exclusive interview why he chose the Nevada, and why he would switch his verbal commitment to the Naval Academy nearly a month later.

"Well, Nevada-Reno is close to my home and has a good medical school," explained Godkin when asked why he originally committed to The University of Nevada-Reno."So I sat down with my parents and discussed it. My parents said go ahead and told me to let [Nevada] know that I wanted to be a part of their program. So I did, but my parents also said to take in the experience of the recruiting process. So I never was certain about Nevada-Reno, but with the Naval Academy, as soon as I got there I wanted to be a Midshipman."

Godkin, who said he never had any intention of serving in the military prior to being recruited by Navy, admitted to being figuratively "blown out of the water" by his visit to Annapolis. Impressed by the opportunities given to Naval Academy graduates as well as Navy's strong on-field football program, Godkin echoed sentiments of many Navy recruits when citing the importance of "The Brotherhood" in attracting him to the Service Academy.

"The Naval Academy has endless opportunities," he said. "They have amazing people who are not all ‘me' guys. I felt that everyone, including the coaches, cared about me not only as a football player but as a person as well. Coach Ken [Niumatalolo] really showed me how they do things there and told me it's all about the "brotherhood."

Godkin also referenced Navy's athletic facilities and academic reputation as major factors which led him to switch his commitment.

"I was very impressed with the facilities and the 98 percent graduation rate. I just basically fell in love with everything they had to offer me…With being in the Naval Academy I will have the best, most stable job in the entire world after I graduate. I could not pass up the opportunity."

"They beat out Nevada-Reno in every possible category," Godkin added.

Godkin played defensive end as a junior, compiling an impressive statistical resume which included 90 tackles, six sacks and five fumble recoveries en route to being named Second Team All-State in 2008. Last year he displayed his versatility and athleticism in moving to the linebacker position, where he thrived. As a senior, Godkin produced 105 tackles, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, two sacks and an interception. Despite his outstanding play as a middle linebacker for Palo Verde, Godkin expects to play defensive end for Navy.

"They want me to play D-end and that's exactly what I want to do," he said. Godkin said he has the utmost respect for Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo, and is excited about the prospect of playing for a winning program.

"The football there is incredible. They play a few BCS schools a year and they play in the best rivalry game in the country and they play Notre Dame every single year…I know that it all just comes with what coach Ken preaches and that is the brotherhood. With that instilled in his players' minds this will be a common thing every year, and I'm glad to be a part of this."

Unlike many prospects who commit to Navy, Godkin was not recruited heavily by Army or Air Force, and said he never really considered either of Navy's two sister service academies. He said part of the reason he was attracted to Navy was because of the influence of former Nevada prep star Sam Womack, who played for powerhouse Bishop Gorman before signing with Navy last season. Godkin was able to speak with Womack on his visit to Annapolis, and got the scoop on playing football for Navy.

"I was able to meet several players and also spoke to Sam Womack from Bishop Gorman from Las Vegas. He is currently at the prep school and he was able to fill me in on things down there. The players explained how it's not easy [at Navy] but they said they wouldn't trade it for the world."

Godkin, who like Womack will first attend NAPS, wants to be a doctor after graduation and is very interested in the academic opportunities of a Naval Academy degree. But before he starts to think too much about his career after football, he has some lofty goals for his time on the field at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

"I want to break the single season sack record and career sack record," he said unabashed.

As a hard worker and God-gifted athlete, Godkin might just do that when it's all said and done. For now though, he's taking things in stride, and said that he's ready to "start practicing."

Remember to check back in with GoMids.com all winter as we continue to count down towards signing day!

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