Nov. 3, 2012
By Jon Cooper
When you’re 5-7, 185 pounds, there are a lot of nicknames that might come to mind other than “The Beast.”
At that size you’re also more likely to be running the ball than being lead blocker.
Yet that’s the nickname and the primary role that has been attached to redshirt junior A-Back Robert Godhigh.
“I guess it’s just the way that I play,” said Godhigh of his nickname following Georgia Tech’s 33-13 victory over Maryland Saturday afternoon at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. “I don’t really play like I’m 5-7. But I like it.”
After the way he played against the Terrapins his monicker is a lot more understandable, especially to Maryland’s defense, which found out it didn’t like the nickname or the person to whom it’s applied.
Saturday was a typical, workmanlike Robert Godhigh effort. He had five carries for 34 yards, 6.8 yards per attempt and a 12-yard touchdown run, his second touchdown of the year and first since the season opener at Virginia Tech.
“It was originally a quarterback draw then [quarterback] Tevin [Washington] checked the play and I got good blocks out there by Jeremy Moore and Synjyn Days. It was pretty easy just to go right in,” he said of his scoring run. “I had some big blocks.”
The score was one of five on the day for the Jackets and came against a defense that hadn’t allowed a rushing score in four games.
“We were all pretty motivated after our bad performance last week,” he said, referring to last week’s loss to Brigham Young, in which the offense managed only 117 yards on the ground and was held without a touchdown. “It was a good team effort. We did our assignments and played the best that we could. It’s been a little bit since we played like we know we can play. It just felt good going out there and executing our assignments and having fun while we’re playing.”
Godhigh had been used in very small doses throughout his two seasons on the Flats, but admitted that he gained a lot in that time he waited for his opportunity.
“It was a long process,” he said. “But I just took it one day at a time and continued to work hard and work on little things while keeping an eye on Roddy [Jones] and Embry [Peeples] and what they did. Just trying to work as hard as I can. I guess it’s paid off.”
It’s paid off plenty this season as he’s seen the field more frequently and has been more lethal than ever.
He gained 12 yards on his first touch of the year, a touchdown run on the second play of the second quarter of the season-opener at Virginia Tech, giving him as many yards as he’d gained in his first two seasons. He’s continued to provide a spark when he’s touched the ball.
He had a 45-yard touchdown pass play against Presbyterian in the home opener, Sept. 8.
In the Oct. 6 game at Clemson he rushed for a career-high 61 yards, including a 25-yard run on an early fourth-quarter drive that gave the Yellow Jackets a 31-30 lead. Then, last week, against Brigham Young, he had the lone big play for Tech, a 22-yard scamper early in the second quarter.
While he’s showed flashes running and catching the ball, Godhigh has been at his best when opening holes, rather than running through them. He actually prefers that role.
“I like doing it because that one block can spring one of my teammates for a big play,” he said. “It’s just fun going up there and knocking guys twice my size down and springing big plays for my teammates. It’s good to score but I feel like it’s better knowing that you sprung somebody else for a touchdown, that you executed your assignment and you got your guy down and that’s what sprung somebody else for a touchdown.”
On Saturday, in College Park, in a game the Yellow Jackets needed to win in their effort to get to six wins, bowl eligibility, and even a shot at the Coastal Division title, Godhigh did plenty of dirty work and heavy lifting, playing a key role on one touchdown drive and completing another.
His lead block on Vad Lee’s 24-yard run keyed a drive that led to a second-quarter touchdown and 20-0 lead. He added an eight-yard run on a first and 10 at the Maryland 14, and was a decoy on Lee’s QB follow for the score two plays later.
In the third quarter, he completed a five-play, 69-yard drive by taking a pitch from Tevin at the seven on the right hash marks, then powering in, running through wide receiver Jeremy Moore and the Maryland defender he was blocking at the goal line and rolling in to make it 27-7.
“I just saw the end zone and I wasn’t going to be denied,” he said with a laugh. “Jeremy had the guy sealed in. I just didn’t want to waste time going side-to-side. So I just went straight and kind of ran into Jeremy a little bit but got into the end zone. It was a good block by him.”
Of course, doing the heavy lifting is nothing new for Godhigh. It’s actually his prowess and work ethic in the weight room that earned him the nickname “The Beast.”
“I like working out,” said Godhigh, who can bench 395, squat 535 and power-clean 270. “I try and get as big as I can so that way I can withstand some of the hits from some of the bigger guys. We have a good program that (strength) Coach (John) Sisk has. I like working out and getting strong and getting bigger.”
He admitted that new teammates and those meeting him for the first time are often caught by surprise when they find out just how much he can lift.
“A lot of people ask me how much I bench and squat and stuff like that and they’re surprised how much I do,” he said. “I guess because I don’t weigh that much and I’m able to lift that much weight.”
He’s also surprised teammates during scrimmages.
“Guys talk about how hard it is to bring me down because I’m so short and stocky,” he said. “They don’t really know what to expect when they get run over. So it’s good to hear that from my teammates.”
Godhigh is eager to see what the rest of the season brings and won’t rest until Georgia Tech’s season is done and its goals met.
“I’m not satisfied,” he said. “I have to keep that edge and continue to try and get better.”