Penn State Football

Chris Godwin captures national attention, Garrett Sickels raises nearly $7,000 for charity at NFL Combine


Raising money for charity and heightening their draft stock — could the NFL Scouting Combine have gone better for Penn State products Garrett Sickels and Chris Godwin?

Probably not.

Godwin put on a show, capturing national attention for his stellar 4.42-second 40-yard dash, while Sickels raised nearly $7,000 for rare disease research over the weekend in Indianapolis.

Godwin, who dropped 187 receiving yards and two touchdowns in his final Penn State performance at the Rose Bowl, left many more jaws dropped on Saturday afternoon.

The 6-foot-1, 209-pounder’s remarkable time of 4.42 seconds was good for fifth-best among all wide receivers. Washington’s John Ross broke the Combine record with a 4.22, but Godwin did his part in wowing the masses, too.

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock thought it was the best run of the day.

“From a football perspective, (Godwin had) a more impressive 40 time for me,” Mayock said on-air, in relation to Ross’ sprint.

Godwin, a projected third-round pick, is now being penciled in as an early-round selection by draft experts.

It wasn’t just his 40-yard dash that generated buzz, either. Godwin, who had 59 catches for 982 yards and 11 touchdowns in his final collegiate season, posted a 4.00-second 20-yard shuttle (tied for best among wideouts), 36-inch vertical jump, 126-inch broad jump, 11.21-second 60-yard shuttle, and 19 reps in the bench press.

He performed well in the wide receiver gauntlet, as well.

All things considered, Saturday was good to Godwin — and don’t forget about Sickels.

That same afternoon, the defensive end recorded 20 reps in the bench press, raising $6,953 for Uplifting Athletes. Sickels, the 2016 Uplifting Athletes Penn State chapter president, hoped to raise $200 per rep and ended up at $347.65 each.

Shortly before heading over to the bench press, Sickels spoke to media at Lucas Oil Stadium and said partnering with Uplifting Athletes “seemed like a no-brainer.”

“Uplifting Athletes is a big reason why I chose Penn State,” Sickels told reporters. “The character of the guys on the team, always giving back, and the Penn State community in general.”

Sickels, who led the Nittany Lions last season with 12.5 tackles for loss and six sacks, completed his on-field events on Sunday. The 6-foot-3, 261-pounder clocked a 4.90-second 40-yard dash, ranking 32nd of 51 participating defensive linemen.

He also recorded a 28-inch vertical jump, 105-inch broad jump, 7.21-second three-cone drill, and 4.41-second 20-yard shuttle.

While Godwin and Sickels’ performances left an impression on scouts at the NFL Combine, it’s not the last chance for them to prove themselves.

The duo, along with other Nittany Lions, will have a chance to showcase themselves at Penn State’s Pro Day on March 16.

John McGonigal: 814-231-4630, @jmcgonigal9