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 think 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 tackler 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 the Yellow Jackets may be determined
early, with September dates against Florida State and Clemson.
The game 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 this 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.
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BAZEMORE/AP It's a rare sight to see Godsey take off and run; his efficient arm is the weapon of choice.
2000 record: 9-3 (6-2, T2 in ACC)
Final ranking: No. 17 AP, No. 19 coaches' poll
Turnover differential per game last season, second best in the
nation, as Tech forced 43 miscues.
An opposing team's coach sizes up the Yellow Jackets
"George Godsey turned out to be a very shrewd player. His
strengths are his leadership and his ability to get the team in
the right call. He also throws the ball well. We had a mix-up in
our coverage, and he found it and made us pay for it by throwing
for a touchdown.... I don't know a lot about [new coordinator]
Bill O'Brien, but the offense probably won't change much....
Wide receiver Kelly Campbell is a guy you don't want to leave on
an island. He can break plays on you."
Strength: 55th of 117
Aug. 26 vs. Syracuse*
Sept. 1 THE CITADEL
8 at Navy
15 at Florida State
Oct. 6 at Duke
20 N.C. STATE
Nov. 1 NORTH CAROLINA
10 at Virginia
17 at Wake Forest
*At East Rutherford, N.J.