Big Recruiting "Win" for Penn State

Four-star wide receiver Chris Godwin picks the Nittany Lions over a host of other offers. He announced his decision Tuesday night.

Penn State picked up its sixth commitment of the Class of 2014 late Tuesday night, and based off the events of the last few days, it may come as a surprise.

However, there was no surprise, just joy, when Middletown (Del.) High wide-receiver Chris Godwin expressed his verbal commitment to PSU head coach Bill O'Brien, becoming the third wide-receiver in the class and second to join it in four days.

“I felt like this was a great move,” Godwin said. “Overall, on all my visits that I've been to, I think I was sort of subconsciously comparing all the places to Penn State.

“I realized that all the people there, meaning the coaching staff and conditioning staff, made me feel like I was at home.”

A four-star FOX Sports NEXT prospect, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Godwin chose Penn State over 15 other offers, and had just recently visited Virginia Tech.

But the feeling and relationship he had with the Lion staff, including his recruiter, linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden, made the decision an easy one.

So, too, did the quarterback carousel spinning around University Park with spring practice complete. And the arms of the signal callers at Penn State, combined with one slated to arrive in June, put the Nittany Lions over the top.

“I mainly like the coaching staff. The offense they run is definitely suitable for a receiver like myself,” Godwin said. “I think they can develop me as a player and person. I have a pretty good relationship with Coach Vanderlinden, and that played a huge part in it.

“I also like the quarterback situation. With Christian [Hackenberg] coming in, and [Tyler] Ferguson and all those guys there, it really helped along my decision.”

The junior broke out in Middletown's offense in 2012, catching 42 passes for 900 yards and 12 touchdowns. His ability to catch the ball at its highest point is one of the areas that jump out on film, and the receiver believes it is one of his strengths, too.

Godwin said his parents guided him in his decision, and he used them as a sounding board throughout the process. In the end, though, the decision was ultimately his.

His guide now will be Lion receiver coach Stan Hixon, a man Godwin says he not only has a relationship with, but with whom he also shares an understanding of just how the coaching veteran can advance his game.

“I think what I like most about Coach Hixon is he knows what he is talking about,” Godwin explained. “He's been to so many places -- the NFL, college -- he knows what it takes to make a good receiver great, and help me develop.”

He added that Hixon can help him improve his route running and understanding of the concepts that make a top-flight receiver at the college level, but there is more than just on-field development that sets Penn State and its campus apart.

Academics also played a role in his decision. With current thoughts of majoring in psychology, he believes that can be accomplished at his new school, too.

And he believes he can help them accomplish things, too.

“Academics-wise, they provide an outlet so that if my playing career is over, I can still get a great degree and have opportunities after football,” he explained. “On top of that, I can definitely see myself helping with recruiting, and if there's a certain guy that I can help with or get in contact with, I'll do that to help my class.”

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