ATLANTA – It’s like old times for Georgia Tech sophomore receiver Will Glover and junior quarterback George Godsey. The former high school teammates are now staples in the Yellow Jackets’ starting lineup.
Glover, Tech’s leading receiver early in this 2000 season, has been Godsey’s favorite target this year. He leads the Yellow Jackets with 11 receptions, and tallied a team-high seven catches for 62 yards against Florida State on Saturday.
While the rest of the country is just learning about Godsey’s talent and ability to lead the Jackets, Glover has seen Godsey’s success first-hand.
“We played together in high school and I know how capable he is of playing as a starting quarterback,” Glover said of his teammate at Tampa’s Jesuit High School. “He’s a fighter. He always finds a way to do well out there.”
Glover remembers “Goose” as a fun-loving high school quarterback who would keep opposing defenses off-balance.
“Believe it or not, with Goose at quarterback, you never knew what to expect because he just liked to come out and have fun,” Glover said. “He had fun a lot and (Jesuit) Coach (Dominick) Ciao gave him control of our offense. I played running back a lot so I didn’t really catch that many passes. But when I did go to receiver, he threw the ball really well. Some games he’d throw for over 300 yards and some games he’d just hand the ball off. He was a great quarterback in high school.”
Glover, who was tabbed the 14th-best high school running back in the country by National Recruiting Advisor after his senior year, has made the transition to college receiver look easy.
“My senior year of high school I played a little bit of receiver because Goose’s brother, Gary, was quarterback and we threw the ball a lot,” Glover said. “But my junior year, going into my senior year, I went to a lot of camps as a receiver so I could learn to run routes. I was real raw coming in, but Coach (George O’Leary) helped me a lot and had faith in me and put me on the field.”
After playing in 11 games as a true freshman last season (4 receptions, 50 yards, 1 TD), Glover has become a fixture in the complex Yellow Jacket offense this year. His seven catches for 62 yards against FSU was the best performance of his career, and he is averaging 7.9 yards per catch.
“Our offense is wide receiver-friendly so it basically lets me show all my talents as far as catching the ball and running after the catch,” Glover said. “I love to play receiver.”
Glover understands that the Georgia Tech offense is one which not only showcases his talents, but will also help prepare him to pursue his dream of playing in the National Football League.
“Learning the offense as a freshman was very overwhelming,” Glover said. “It’s crazy. At first I just played one position. Then when I had to learn all three wide receiver positions, that’s when it got pretty tough because there are so many checks and it’s a pro-style offense. But one thing is for sure: if you learn this offense, the next level is going to be second nature. It was very overwhelming coming in, but right now I think I’ve got it down.”
Glover said he has learned much about football and life from Tech offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen, who was honored as the nation’s top assistant coach with the 1999 Broyles Award.
“Coach Friedgen, at any moment, can call a play,” Glover said. “You never know what to expect. In games, you never know what he’s going to come up with next. Coach Friedgen is a great offensive mind and he’s going to get the ball to whoever is hot. If you’re open, he’s going to get you the ball. I love playing in his offense.
“I’ve learned a lot since coming to Tech,” Glover continued. “As a receiver, I’ve learned to run routes. I was blessed with good hands. I’ve always been able to catch and run after the catch, but I’ve had to fine-tune myself on the football field. I’ve also learned how to take coaching. In high school you can get away with a lot of things, but on the college level you have to be real precise. With Coach Friedgen and (wide receivers) coach (David) Kelly, that’s really helped me out in life also. You learn to take that from the field into the classroom and into every day life, as far as being precise and being accountable for your actions. That’s really helped me a lot.”
Glover also credits Friedgen with being a major reason he came to Georgia Tech.
“Coming up here on my visit, I really felt at home with these guys,” Glover explained. “And also with Coach Friedgen, he really made me feel like I was going to be a part of the program, which was something I was really looking forward to. And you can’t beat Atlanta. I’m from a big city and couldn’t do well in a small town.”
At home on and off the field, Glover says that Tech is helping him prepare for life-after-school both academically and athletically. The finance major is considering careers in brokering and law, as well as professional football.
But for now, he is enjoying his role in the Georgia Tech offense, and along with his high school teammate Godsey, is hoping to bring championship football back to the Flats.