It’s pretty safe to say that second-year wide receiver Chris Godwin isn’t your average 22-year-old. Selected in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Chris seemed to really turn on the gas towards the end of last season and he hasn’t let up since. He has scored a touchdown in three of the Buccaneers' first four games this season and tied the franchise record for most consecutive games with a touchdown reception dating back to Week 17 of last season with four.
It’s safe to say Chris has acclimated to the NFL life pretty seamlessly and it may have something to do with the fact that he’s been laser-focused on reaching the NFL since he was a kid. Now that he’s here, he intends to stay. This is Behind the Buccaneers with Chris Godwin.
Carmen Vitali: So you’re 22 years old, an NFL player and starting your own business with your girlfriend, Mariah, who’s a personal trainer.
Chris Godwin: “Trying to, yeah. It’s like our own business. On our website, she’s going to be selling workout programs so online training as well. Some tailored for females, some just in general for people who don’t work out and are trying to get into it. Then we’re working on some apparel and stuff like that.”
That's a lot on the plate of someone still pretty young. Do you think football has made you grow up a little faster than most?
“Yeah, I think you kind of have to. You hear so many stories about people getting here and messing everything up like blowing all their money or getting in trouble, stuff like that, but I was the type that never wanted to be in that situation. I’ve just grown up faster, knowing when I get here, I’m good to go. I don’t have to worry about any maturity problems or anything like that. I think going to Penn State [a big program] allowed me to be more natural during games here. The stage wasn’t really that big by the time I got here by comparison.”
Was football always a thing growing up?
“Yeah, I’ve played football since I was six. I played stuff outside with my friends like basketball and I played baseball for a couple years in middle school.”
Were you always good at football? You don’t have any funny stories of getting cut or anything?
“No, no, I’ve never been cut. I played varsity my freshman year of high school. I’ve always been one of the better players on my team."
What made you go to Penn State?
“It felt right. All the visits I went on, I was subconsciously comparing them back to Penn State. I had been there like four or five times whether it was a camp or something because it was relatively close [from where I grew up] as far as big schools go. I was like, well this must be a sign. I just went with it. They were under sanctions at that time but I was worried about more than just college football championships, I was trying to get into the NFL and I thought they gave me the best shot.”
I was worried about more than just college football championships, I was trying to get into the NFL.
So the NFL was always the goal?
Did you ever write that down or something when you were little?
“I didn’t formally write it down but yeah. I would tell my parents that all the time. Everybody that knew me, knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
Now that you’re here what are you taking into this year from your rookie year? Good or bad?
“I don’t know that I’m doing anything different. I think everything I learned last year will help me perform a lot better and quicker this year. Now it’s just taking a step up and improving every aspect of the game. I think being a lot more comfortable now, having gone through everything for a year, everything comes more natural.”
I think everything I learned last year will help me perform a lot better and quicker this year. Now it’s just taking a step up and improving every aspect of the game.
Switching gears a bit, you’ve been starting to dabble in photography. Where did that come from?
“I was trying to find a hobby outside of football. We spend so much time here doing football and I love it but outside of football, you have to find something that you’re passionate about. I enjoy art and drawing, stuff like that. Doing research and looking around, I’ve always wanted to take pictures and get into photography but never really had the means to. Now that I do, I did some research, got a pretty good camera and I just wanna see what I can do with it and see how far I can go with it. There’s a lot more that goes into taking pictures than just point and shoot. That’s what I want to get into.”
Well you have a pretty great landscape here. How do you like Tampa?
“Yeah, it’s cool. Being from Delaware, I’m not really into the fast-paced cities of New York and LA. They move too damn fast. Everybody’s always go, go, go. There’s too much going on. But here, it’s kind of a mix between like a smaller city feel but there’s also a ton of stuff to do around here. My girlfriend and I are big into food and there are hella food spots around here. We really like Ruth's Chris, even though that’s more of a chain. We went to a spot called Marlow’s, that was really good. There’s a breakfast place called First Watch on Dale Mabry, it’s so good. I love Another Broken Egg. That was my first breakfast spot here. We literally have a list of like 50 places we have to try. We gotta hit ‘em all and see what’s out there.”
Also, you and Mariah have one of the cutest dogs I've ever seen. His name is Ghost?
“Yeah. He’s a Pomeranian mixed with a husky. Mariah has like five or six dog outfits that she puts on him. He’s 30 pounds and he’s going to stay there so she got him like an adidas little jumpsuit hoodie thing. The very first thing she got him was this duck-printed blue hoodie thing. I never know what she buys these days. She just puts it on him. I’m like what the hell is this? I was like, ‘Take that thing off of my dog’ [laughs]. But she thinks it’s cute. He already has a Bucs jersey.”
Next thing we know we’re going to see you walking down the street matching with your dog.
“Maybe Mariah [laughs] not me.”