Isaac Nauta and Terry Godwin explain what goes into being a skilled receiver in a conference full of good defenses.
Godwin’s most improved attribute, Nauta said, is knowing every responsibility he has on the field.
“That’s a big part of it,” Nauta said. “A lot of people think it’s just run around, catch the ball and run with it. But you’ve got to read defenses when you’re running routes and you’ve got to know where you’ve got to be and what you’ve got to do. And it takes more than just one season to get it. Going into year (three), I think he’s got a better grip on it mentally and that’s definitely helping him.”
Godwin didn’t dispute Nauta’s assessment as he said he has the Bulldogs’ offensive playbook – specifically his duties at receiver – committed to memory.
“I know where the holes are in the defense now, how to run certain routes, how to get off certain releases – the little things that are going to make you great,” he said.
He also expanded upon Nauta’s claim that playing receiver – especially given the caliber of athletes in the ultra-competitive SEC – isn’t nearly as easy as one might think.
“If you’re on the outside looking in, you’d think we’re just out there running a route or whatever,” Godwin said. “But it’s pretty hard, because you’re running and trying to read the defense on the fly and run a certain route or run a different route. There’s a lot of techniques and a lot of knowledge going into that route.”
I don’t doubt any of that, but I can’t help but also note that of last season’s top ten players in the SEC in receptions, four were sophomores, with two freshmen and one sophomore in the top fifteen, playing in a variety of schemes, so it’s not an impossible task, either. (Godwin was 27th; Georgia’s leader was Isaiah McKenzie, who finished 18th.)
How much of that is on Godwin, who, for the record, I think has the best hands on the team, and how much of that is on the coaching/scheme?