Wide receiver Chris Godwin will forgo his final year of eligibility with Penn State to enter the NFL draft.
The two-time All-Big Ten selection ranks in the top four in program history in receiving yards (2,404) and receiving touchdowns (18).
“It’s been an honor and a blessing to have the opportunity to be a part of the Penn State Football family,” Godwin said in a news release issued by the school. “I give all the glory to God. I don’t know if words can fully express my gratitude to everyone that played a role in me getting to this point. The success I’ve had is a direct result of my association with the teams and supporting staff that I’ve had. From Middletown High School to Penn State, I have made relationships that will last a lifetime. Those closest to me know the impact this has had on my growth. The special bond with this team is something I’ll hold forever.
“I came to Penn State not only to pursue a degree from the greatest university in the nation, but also to play in the best atmosphere in college football and bring Penn State back to prominence. Through a lot of hard work over the last three years, I’d like to believe that myself and my brothers have successfully accomplished that.
“As a kid from Delaware I could only dream about being in this position. This has been one of the hardest decision in my life, but after praying on it and having many conversations with those I trust the most, I’ve decided to forego my senior year and declare for the 2017 NFL Draft. I believe this is the best decision for myself and my family. I can’t thank my brothers, coaches/support staff and Nittany Nation enough for their constant support throughout my three years here. This year was something special and I’ll be forever grateful to have been a part of it.”
“Chris has been a leader in our wide receivers’ room and on this team throughout his Penn State career,” Penn State head coach James Franklin said. “He is one of the top receivers in Penn State history and has made numerous memorable catches throughout his career. We are thankful for all of Chris’ contributions to Penn State Football and look forward to seeing him excel on the next level.”
The native of Middletown, Delaware earned All-Big Ten third team honors from the media and honorable mention accolades from the coaches this season after an appearance on the All-Big Ten second team last year. Godwin was also named to the All-Big Ten third team by Phil Steele and Athlon Sports.
Godwin turned in a stellar junior campaign with 59 catches for 982 yards and a Penn State junior-record 11 touchdowns. He was 22nd in FBS with his 11 scores and ranked 40th in FBS and third in the Big Ten in receiving yards. He finished the season sixth on Penn State’s season receiving yardage list, tied for second in receiving touchdowns and seventh in receptions.
In his career, Godwin has been nearly unstoppable in bowl games, posting three 100-yard performances in three games. Godwin owns the Penn State record for receptions (9), receiving yards (187) and touchdowns (2) in a bowl game with his effort in the 2017 Rose Bowl game. His 187 yards rank fourth in Rose Bowl history and are a record for a junior at Penn State. Trace McSorley hit Godwin for a 72-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter of the Rose Bowl, which is tied for the third-longest scoring pass in Rose Bowl history and tied for the longest in Penn State bowl history. Godwin also had a 72-yard touchdown catch in the 2014 Pinstripe Bowl. Overall, Godwin owns the Penn State career bowl record for receptions (22), receiving yards (460) and touchdowns (3).
Godwin finishes his career ranked fourth on Penn State career receiving yardage list with 2,404 yards, seventh with 153 receptions and tied for fourth with 18 career receiving touchdowns. Godwin became the third player in Penn State history to have 1,000 receiving yards in a season, joining Allen Robinson and Bobby Engram, with his performance in the 2015 season. His 2015 season stands second on Penn State’s season receiving yards list with 1,101 and fourth in receptions (66).
Penn State won its first Big Ten Championship since 2008 and fourth overall with an 11-2 record and an 8-1 mark in Big Ten play. The No. 5 Nittany Lions made their fourth Rose Bowl appearance (1923, 1995, 2009, 2017).