What They're Saying

Casey Mulholland knows Cliff Godwin. As a matter of fact, it was because of Ole Miss' newest baseball assistant that Mulholland almost didn't sign with the Rebels. That was when Godwin worked at Central Florida.

"Coach Godwin's a great guy. My final two choices came down to UCF and Ole Miss," said the right-hander who will pitch for Ole Miss as a freshman this fall. "I spent a lot of time talking to Coach Godwin on the phone and got to know him very well. He's a great guy and I love talking to him about baseball. He is the one that really sold me on UCF and the program there."

Mulholland, from IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., won't be working with Godwin day after day, at least not position-wise. That's because Godwin has been hired to coach Rebel hitters, to bring a new approach to the offense, and to add some enthusiasm to the program.

Mulholland says Godwin is just the man for the job.

"He's an awesome recruiter and an awesome coach," said Mulholland, 15 months into rehab after Tommy John surgery on March 31, 2010. "I know he's going to fit in well in the Ole Miss family. Honestly I don't think there could be a more perfect guy for the job."

Sikes Orvis, another newcomer to the Rebel program this fall, is also familiar with Godwin. Orvis played his high school baseball for Freedom High in Orlando.

"I know Coach Godwin from getting recruited by UCF," said the freshman first baseman/catcher, drafted earlier this month in the 19th round by the Red Sox. "I remember distinctly on my visit all the players (in the UCF program) telling me how awesome he is and how good of a hitting coach he is."

Tanner Mathis
Bruce Newman
Orvis has been around Godwin enough due to proximity that he knows what the newest Rebel assistant is all about.

"I love his approach to hitting and the way he goes about it," Orvis said. "So I'm really excited."

Ole Miss assistant coach Carl Lafferty recruited Orvis for Ole Miss, while Godwin was recruiting him for Central Florida. Orvis remembers both and quickly admits how good each was at his job.

"Two of the better recruiters I heard from were Coach Godwin and Coach Laff (Lafferty)," he said. "Now they're on the same team, and I'm real excited for that."

Two current Ole Miss players, sophomore Will Allen and junior Tanner Mathis, both had contact with Godwin but at different schools. Allen, of Gainesville, Fla., knew him through the UCF connection, while Mathis, of Lake Charles, La., knew Godwin when he was an assistant at LSU.

"We got to be pretty close," said Allen of his relationship with Godwin through the recruitment process. "I was definitely interested in going (to Central Florida), and I pulled away because of Ole Miss. I got to know him pretty well."

Allen said he's ready to go to work under Godwin.

"I know he did a great job at UCF, and it's pretty exciting he will be at Ole Miss," he said. "I'm just looking forward to next year. I'd heard his name come up (for the Ole Miss position), and obviously it was a familiar name. It turned out it was him, and it should be a good thing. He knows what he's doing."

Mathis was recruited by Godwin when he was on the LSU Tiger staff.

"He's a great guy and seems really intense," Mathis said. "When I talked to some of the (LSU) players when I was being recruited, they said he really knows his stuff. I think it's a great hire. He had one of the best offenses in the country at Central Florida last year. I think he's exactly what we need."

Mathis' recall of Godwin didn't take long.

"As soon as his name was mentioned, I knew exactly who he was from back in the day," said the Rebels' leadoff hitter. "We had a pretty good relationship back then during all the recruiting stuff. Now I get to play for him anyway, so it's perfect."

Mulholland seemed to sum it up for all of them.

"Coach Godwin couldn't be a more perfect coach for the job," he said. "I'm excited about him being there."

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