Jeff Godfrey: UCF Freshman Phenom Brings Questions To Starting QB Position
Freshman Jeff Godfrey is already a big part of UCF football, and he hasn't even started a game. When he entered the field to replace junior Rob Calabrese against the NC State Wolfpack, he received a massive welcome from the crowd and chants of "Godfrey" filled the stadium for the rest of the game. There is one thing for certain, he did not disappoint his new found fans.
Despite the heartbreaking loss to the 28-21 to NC State, Godfrey shined. Coming in late in the third quarter with a NC State lead of 28-7, Godfrey managed to march down the field the rest of the game. Godfrey put together two scoring drives capped off by running the ball in himself for both of the Knights offensive touchdowns.
Godfrey was 10 carries for 53 yards on the night, a much needed injection of running considering the Knights only carried the ball for 5 yards the first half. This in turn opened up the pass for Godfrey. Godfrey was 7 of 10 on the night for 107 yards and looked as poised as any top quarterback in college football. His final two minute brought his dual threat ability into full swing but ended when a 20 yard pass into the red zone was dropped fumbled by Quincy McDuffie.
The big question is, will Coach George O'Leary finally cave to fans wishes of starting this freshman phenom? Knights fans probably shouldn't expect him to start next week against Buffalo. Despite the fact that Godfrey played fantastic, George O'Leary has already put the blame for Calabrese's play on the O-Line and the lack of protection. Even Godfrey didn't have great protection, but was able to read the blitz and get out of the pocket in time.
What Knights fans can expect is even more play time for Godfrey. Look for Godfrey to be utilized in both away games against Buffalo and Kansas State to get him more acclimated to the game. Godfrey is still a freshman and O'Leary's style of coaching and faith in Calabrese will likely keep Godfrey from starting for a while. However, it is very possible if Calabrese continues to look more like a bust than a legitimate starter that Godfrey could be handed the reins of the team mid-season or even at the next home game.
More important that Calabrese busting is that Godfrey continue to play cool and collected in the time he gets. There is a lot of hype around Godfrey and so far he has done quite well to live up to it. However, he has still had limited playing time with the Knights. If Godfrey can pick up from where he left off at the end of the NC State game, then there is no doubt that he has a definite chance of being the starter by the end of the season.
It might be a bit to early to call, but Jeff Godfrey could very easily become the first UCF quarterback to lead the Knights to a bowl game victory. Possibly even multiple bowl game victories. The potential with Godfrey is limitless and he could easily go down as one of the most beloved UCF players of all time.
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