TAMPA — Chris Godwin had quite a year. He became teammates with Tom Brady, won a Super Bowl with the Bucs, earned a new contract as the team’s franchise player and married his best friend, Mariah DelPercio.
Godwin, 25, credits his positive attitude for much of his success. Certainly, he has exceeded expectations as a third-round pick from Penn State in 2017.
Godwin is the guest host for Peter King’s Football Morning in America column in which he talks about growing up in Delaware; how the first youth football team (also the Bucs) he played on in 2002 occurred in the same year his future NFL team won the Super Bowl; and his relationship with quarterback Tom Brady.
Like many NFL fans, Godwin heard that Brady was leaving the Patriots after 20 seasons but couldn’t believe he signed with Tampa Bay. Then he received a text message the from future Hall of Famer.
“He said congrats on your engagement,” Godwin related. “I had just gotten engaged. And the greatest player of all time is DMing me wishing me good luck with my engagement and saying he’s excited to play with me! That was just shocking to me. I get drafted by Tampa, never thinking I’d ever have a chance to play with Tom Brady, and now, in the prime of my career, he’s gonna be my quarterback.”
Godwin’s story is inspiring and you learn how he became one of the most physical receivers in the NFL.
But the fact that he became a huge Bucs fan as a kid is one of the better stories in the column. Because of weight limits in youth football, and because he was tall for his age, the only position he could play initially was lineman or linebacker.
“My entire game was centered on the physicality of football. I loved being physical,” Godwin said. “Everybody wants to have the ball in their hands, but those first few years for me, it was all about the team. All about winning. The physicality, the winning, that’s what really sparked the love of the game for me. Not scoring, not the offensive glory. I think that was really good for me, because since then, football for me has been about the team and the winning — not about the stats.
“In that first year, I was put on a team called the Bucs. I didn’t know anything except I was on the Bucs, and I loved football. That was right around the time that I started to pay attention to what the NFL was. I became a Bucs fan. And it was in that same year that the Bucs won their first Super Bowl. That’s the first Super Bowl I watched. What do I remember about it? I was captivated. There’s Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Mike Alstott, Jon Gruden — that’s my team! They played great and won the game, and then I was really a Bucs fan.”
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