SI Vault
Richard Deitsch
August 13, 2001
Pass master George Godsey could be the Goose that lays the Jackets' golden egg
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
August 13, 2001

11 Georgia Tech

Pass master George Godsey could be the Goose that lays the Jackets' golden egg

View CoverRead All Articles

Senior quarterback George (Goose) Godsey got his nickname in the eighth grade, when one of his youth league teammates misread the D on the back of his jersey as an O and pronounced his last name as Goosey. "They eventually cut the Y," Godsey explains, "because I mink they felt Goosey sounded a little too light."

Taking a gander at the 6'2", 205-pound Godsey lumbering downfield, few would accuse him of being light—especially on his feet. Even Godsey admits that his speed is more Lorne Greene than Maurice Greene. "I scored a touchdown last year on a 33-yard run against Georgia," he says. "The only other time I had run that far was during conditioning in the summer. They usually blow the whistle in practice before I get to 30 yards."

Luckily, passing is where Godsey makes his mark. After serving as Joe Hamilton's little-used caddie for two years, Godsey emerged last season to become one of the nation's leading quarterbacks (No. 6 in passing efficiency after throwing for 2,906 yards and 23 touchdowns). In Godsey the Yellow Jackets trusted, and Tech coach George O'Leary was rewarded with a 9-2 season and a ranking among the top 20 in passing, scoring and total offense. The last game of Godsey's dream season, however, ended in a nightmare: He tore the ACL in his left knee while trying to avoid a tackier in a Peach Bowl loss to LSU. He missed spring practice but began taking snaps again in mid-June and is confident he'll be 100% for the Kickoff Classic against Syracuse on Aug. 26.

The postseason fortunes of tine Yellow Jackets may be determined early, with September dates against Florida State and Clemson. The frame in Tallahassee figures to be as difficult as the deterministic optimization seminar Godsey took this summer as part of his graduate studies in industrial engineering. Georgia Tech has lost nine straight to the Seminoles, though the Goose feels loose about his squad's chances tins season. "We respect them as highly as you can," he says, "but this team will be as well prepared for Florida State as any team I've been on."

If Godsey engineers a fairy-tale victory over the Seminoles, he'll be one golden Goose indeed.