Posted: 3:22 pm Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
By Ken Sugiura
Adam Bakow has been doing his part.
The agent for former Georgia Tech A-back Robert Godhigh has been sending highlight videos and sending reminders to NFL teams that his client will be performing at Tech’s pro day, Friday at the indoor practice building.
The rest will be up to Godhigh, the Yellow Jackets’ undersized playmaker.
“It’s a lot of emotions – nervous, anxious, excited, all those into one, really,” Godhigh said. “Trying to make sure you do your best because it’s really like a job interview. You want to put your best foot forward and show what you’ve got.”
For Godhigh, it is of critical importance to put up standout numbers. His size – 5-foot-7, 190 pounds – is an obvious strike against him. And while his ability to play in space and make defenders miss was obvious, not having video of himself playing in a pro-style offense doesn’t help. (On the flipside, Godhigh might not have had the chances to make as many plays as he did in the Tech offense.) He had the chance to do that in the College All-Star Bowl in Greenville, S.C., a lower-tier pre-draft showcase, but the February snowstorm limited Godhigh and former Tech teammates Will Jackson and Jay Finch to just one practice before the game. Godhigh had the game’s longest reception, a 45-yarder.
“It was weird, but we made it work,” Godhigh said.
Friday, Godhigh can help himself best by putting up numbers that will send scouts back to the film room to study him more. In the 40-yard dash, Godhigh said he thinks he can run a time of 4.5 seconds or faster. In the 20-yard shuttle – a drill that tests quickness and change of direction – he said he thinks he can be between 4.0 and 4.2 seconds. In the bench press (repetitions at 225 pounds), he said he can crank out more than 20 reps easily.
At the recent NFL draft combine, only nine running backs ran under 4.50. In the 20-yard shuttle, there were eight running backs between 4.0 and 4.20. In the bench press, seven running backs put up more than 20 reps on the bench press.
The numbers of two players Godhigh is often compared to, return specialist Trindon Holliday (listed at 5-5, 161 coming out of LSU) and running back Darren Sproles (5-7, 170):
Holliday – 4.34 (40), 4.48 (shuttle), 10 (bench press).
Sproles – 4.47, 3.96, 23.
Sproles was drafted in the fourth round by San Diego in 2005. Holliday was taken in the sixth round of the 2010 draft by Houston. A significant difference, though, was that both were likely easier to project. Holliday was a return specialist who was an NCAA 100-meter dash champion. Sproles led the nation in rushing at Kansas State as a junior in 2003 and was fifth in Heisman Trophy balloting. Godhigh did not return kicks and, while highly productive, played a hybrid position as an A-back.
Bakow suspects Godhigh’s path into the NFL – if there is one – is as an undrafted free agent.
“Robbie, he’s an explosive player and he’s kind of got that skillset to be a kick return specialist type guy, a big playmaker,” Bakow said. “We’re hoping what he shows in his pro day and the little he showed at the College All-Star Bowl, as well, will be enough to get teams interested in him.”
The Canadian Football League may be a more likely immediate option. Bakow said four or five teams have contacted him about Godhigh. He has a private workout with a CFL team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, on Saturday. Typically, American players coming out of college will end up in the CFL if they go undrafted and unsigned as free agents.
“Robbie’s like most guys,” Bakow said.”He just wants to play football. However he can make that happen, he’s going to make it happen.”
The CFL-to-NFL route is not exactly well-worn, but it happens.
“I’m open to it,” Godhigh said. “It’s a chance to play professionally and you always have to have a backup plan, so if that were to happen, I would go to that backup plan and try my hand in that.”
Godhigh has been preparing for Friday at DSA Training in Cobb County while still holding down a job at Barton Executive Search, where he interned during his time at Tech. Godhigh said he has been going to the office around 8 a.m., breaking for a two-hour workout around 10 and then returning to the office after that. Former Tech All-ACC guard Omoregie Uzzi, who also is expected to perform at pro day after not getting signed coming out last year, is among his co-workers.
Godhigh just wants a chance at the NFL.
“That’s really all I’m hoping for,” he said. “I know once you get in there, it’s just football and what you’ve been doing your whole life and working hard and all that. Just having that opportunity is all I’m asking for.”