Despite expectations, Godfrey is confident
Published: Sunday, August 14, 2011
Updated: Sunday, August 14, 2011 17:08
When sophomore quarterback Jeff Godfrey talks, it's best to listen carefully.
Godfrey, despite being capable of shouting out cadences and audibles on the playing field, is fairly soft-spoken. The rising sophomore admits he prefers to lead his teammates by example as opposed to being a vocal leader.
But if you listen to him, there's no mistaking the confidence he possesses. It is a quiet, collected confidence, such that Godfrey doesn't hesitate when asked the big questions.
What's the goal for the Knights this season?
"Undefeated," Godfrey responded at the team's media day.
Godfrey also didn't hesitate in a recent interview to tell the Orlando Sentinel that, "Yes, I am the best quarterback in the state of Florida."
He's on the watch list for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, given to the nation's best quarterback. Does Godfrey think he could be the best in the nation? Is that even a question?
"Yes I think I have the potential," Godfrey said. "I'm surrounded by a good team, and I think I have the potential to be the best quarterback."
When's the last time the Knights had a man behind center that was so openly confident and embraced his potential as such? How can UCF fans doing anything but be excited for Godfrey's sophomore season?
Before the season starts, everyone's undefeated, optimistic and confident replies are standard from nearly every player on every team in the country. They're part of the expected rhetoric. But typically the confidence is often combined with a qualifying statement, the rehearsed lines you expect to hear about taking it one game at a time, just being focused on playing football, whether the team can play to potential, so on and so forth.
Godfrey, however, makes no secret of his desires and his goals. He wants to go undefeated. He wants to play for a BCS National Title, and he wants to win the Heisman Trophy during his career.
It's a refreshing confidence, the kind that can become contagious in the locker room as preseason camp progresses. Make no mistake; this is a team that is aware that they have some people's attention going into the season. And as Sept. 3 approaches, this appears to be a very confident team, much like it's young leader.
What's more, Godfrey has the ability to sound confident while still sounding humble, making him all the more likeable and marketable as the face of the program.
And the confidence isn't unwarranted, coming from a player who, as a freshmen, threw for 13 touchdowns and run for nine. As a freshmen, Godfrey led the Knights to a Conference USA Championship and a bowl victory over Georgia.
Still, Godfrey was far from perfect last season, he'll be the first to say so and identify exactly what he needs to improve on.
Now, the coaching staff is pushing him to take the next step. Godfrey often left the pocket early and ran last season; he's working on poise in the pocket now. He's also working on consistently making the right decision.
As head coach George O'Leary has told the media, Godfrey just has "it."
"Some kids have to see it, he feels it," O'Leary said at Conference USA's media day.
He's got the motivation, too. Godfrey says he has a chip on his shoulder, he remembers being told by the BCS programs he wasn't big enough to play quarterback. There's no lacking for people to prove wrong.
"A lot of coaches say I couldn't do, and a lot of coaches didn't give me a shot," Godfrey said. "Thanks to coach George O'Leary, he gave me a shot at quarterback, and I proved to him I can do it."