Godwin commits to FSU

Buchholz senior Chris Godwin, who placed second at the Class 4A state cross country meet, has verbally committed to Florida State.

Max Reed/Correspondent
Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 11:07 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 11:07 a.m.

As a freshman at Buchholz, Chris Godwin played varsity tennis.

However, as a sophomore, Godwin's friend Ryan Bell convinced him to try out for the Bobcats cross country team in 2009.

That ended up being a great move for Godwin.

He has turned into a standout runner, which included finishing as the FHSAA Class 4A state runner-up in the fall, participating in the Foot Locker National Finals and being named The Gainesville Sun boys cross country runner of the year in 2010 and 2011.

On Tuesday night, Godwin also made a big decision by verbally committing to Florida State.

"I am really excited and I am happy that I am going to go to a good school and be on a great team," said Godwin, who will also be on the Seminoles track and field team. "It is the right fit for me."

The 5-foot-8, 130-pound senior chose FSU over scholarship offers from Florida and South Florida.

"It was really tough, it was between three really good schools and they all had great attributes and it was hard to decide which one to go to," Godwin said. "The biggest thing is how strong their (FSU's) cross country and track and field programs are."

This past cross country season, Godwin posted a personal-record time of 15:10 to place 11th at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships South Regional in North Carolina on Nov. 26. However, on Dec. 9, Godwin got word that one of the top-10 qualifiers for the Foot Locker Nationals was unable to attend the Dec. 10 race in San Diego. On short notice, he hopped on a plane and ended up finishing 39th (16:28) out of 40 runners, becoming just the area's second boys runner to participate in the Foot Locker Nationals.

Godwin also won (15:48.82) the Bobcat Classic at Santa Fe College and claimed the District 1-4A title with a time of 16:05.00, before placing second (15:36.60) at the Class 4A, Region 1 meet. At the Class 4A state meet at Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City, Godwin finished second with a time of 15:37.40. Godwin was also named to the 2011 flrunners.com all-state first team.

He is also the second area athlete to verbally commit to the FSU track and field program. Trenton's Brandon Stone, who jumped 7-feet in the high jump last spring, gave his pledge to Florida State last week.

"I liked taking the visits and learning more about each school, it was really fun," said Godwin, whose mother, Beth, is a former member of UF's cross country and track and field teams. "It is a lot less stressful now.

"I just felt that FSU was the best place for me to go. It is awesome that I am going to be a Seminole."

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