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Penn State Football: Godwin Looks To Blacknall As Potential Bowl Breakout Star

by on December 31, 2015 4:10 PM

FERNANDIAN BEACH, Fla.

Chris Godwin knows all about making the most of your bowl game chances.

Heading into Penn State's meeting with Boston College at Yankee Stadium he was contributing to the offense but it was nothing special. His career high was just three catches in a single game and 31 yards. In total it had been a helpful but fairly unproductive season for the true freshman. Not a knock on his talents or efforts, but he simply wasn't "the guy" just yet.

And leaving New York City things changed. Seven catches, 140 yards and a 72-yard touchdown catch later and Chris Godwin was no longer a nobody.

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A season later everyone knows who Godwin is. His 63 receptions are tied for second all-time by a Penn State receiver in a single season. His 968 yards have made him the most reliable offense that has hardly been reliable at all. Against Michigan State in 2015 he had 11 catches. In 2014 he had zero.

"I think that during the bowl practices I just started to feel a little bit more comfortable," Godwin said on Thursday after Penn State's final bowl practice. "There were some plays that I remember that I had left on the field against Michigan State last year and I was pretty upset at myself because I knew that those plays that I could make. So I worked on those during bowl practices and focused on my fundamentals and it just kind of translated to the game."

So the question now is who is next? The next Chris Godwin might be on defense this bowl game, or maybe another receiver. Ask the man himself and Godwin looks to a fellow rising star as one ready to shine.

"I think that there are a lot of guys that are very capable of doing the same thing that I've done it's just a matter of making the most of the opportunities that they get in the game and the ones that they take advantage of," Godwin added. "I think Saeed Blacknall has a very good chance of doing that, he's a very explosive player and it's just a matter of the opportunities that he gets and the opportunities that he takes advantage of."

Blacknall to his credit is not an invisible asset for the Penn State offense. A key catch against Ohio State last year put six points on the board for the Nittany Lions. This season Blacknall has just seven receptions for 241 yards, but yet again it was a 25-yard touchdown catch against Michigan that found Blacknall in the middle of a big moment.

Is he next? Only time will tell, but with solid practices and fresh legs he's as good of a bet as anyone to leave an unexpected mark on Saturday's game.

And coming from the guy who knows what it means to turn your career 180 degrees in just 60 minutes, it's hard to ignore the prediction.



Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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