Former UCF quarterback has embraced change to wide receiver


James Tutten / Valencia Voice

UCF senior Jeff Godfrey started his career as a quarterback, but made the move to wide receiver following his sophomore year.

SCOTTSDALE — Jeff Godfrey went to the University of Central Florida expecting to play quarterback, but after two years as the Knights’ signal caller, Godfrey was moved to wide receiver.

“Changing my position was pretty hard at first,” said Godfrey during Monday’s Fiesta Bowl media day. “But I took the challenge and I think I’m doing a pretty good job with it.”

The senior out of Miami Central High School played well under center during his freshman year, while throwing for 2159 yards, 13 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Godfrey also added 566 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground during his freshman campaign.

Godfrey’s first year on campus he lead the Knights to their first-ever bowl win, when UCF upset the Georgia Bulldogs in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. He also became the first true freshman quarterback in FBS history to lead his team to a victory in a conference championship game when they defeated SMU in the C-USA title game in 2010.

“He actually came in the semester before me, won the starting job, had a great year. Took us to our first bowl victory and beat Georgia.” said now-starting quarterback Blake Bortles about Godfrey.

During his second year at quarterback Godfrey’s numbers diminished in almost every category, as he would go on to throw for 1,898 yards and 5 touchdowns, while also adding 405 yards and 9 touchdowns rushing.

The following year he would lose his position to a redshirt freshman in Bortles. Godfrey toyed with the idea of transferring, even going as far as doing interviews where he said he was “very close” to transferring to FAU.

“I had a tremendous freshman year, not too good my Sophomore year, I was thinking about transferring,” said Godfrey about his first two years at UCF. “But I kind of sat down and thought about it, I couldn’t leave out on my teammates like that just because I had a bad year.

“I managed to come back and I’m glad coach O’Leary let me come back and I’m glad my teammates took me in.” added Godfrey.

Ultimately he decided to stay at UCF and change positions to wide receiver for his junior year. Godfrey would go on to catch 39 passes for 429 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2012. He would go 2-3 with 2 touchdowns passing during that season, while also adding 70 rushing yards.

“I would say the route running was the difficult part,” said Godfrey about his position change. “You have to learn to make certain types of cuts. From quarterback you don’t make many cuts.” “It’s been pretty good, but the route running has been hard, most of it.”

Bortles would go on to lead the Knights to a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl victory, while also taking home the games MVP. Godfrey had 3 receptions for 29 yards in that game.

Now in his final year at UCF Godfrey hopes to finish what he started when he came in as a freshman and help the Knights win their first-ever BCS bowl game on Wednesday when they take on the Baylor Bears in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

“A win would mean a lot,” said Godfrey about the Fiesta Bowl. “First BCS bowl game, we all want this as a team, we want it for our coaches, we want it for UCF Nation and that’s what we’re going to go out there and do.”