Goss: Providence weighing quarterback options
July 26, 2012 7:32PM
Providence’s Jake Godfrey. | File photo
Updated: August 28, 2012 6:10AM
A twist has been added to the much-anticipated Joliet Catholic vs. Providence football opener Aug. 24 on the Celtics’ spanking-new playing surface.
Junior Jake Godfrey, who would have started at quarterback for the Celtics, recently made the difficult decision to quit football in order to concentrate on his baseball career.
Even as a sophomore, the right-hander was a regular on coach Mark Smith’s deep varsity staff, and he pencils in as one of the best pitchers in the area the next two seasons.
He also is an excellent quarterback.
The dilemma: Should Godfrey continue to play two sports or concentrate on the sport of his future, which is baseball? He believes he has the opportunity to gain significant exposure in baseball in the fall.
Earlier this summer, during the University of St. Francis 7-on-7 Passing Jamboree, Providence football coach Mark Coglianese discussed how the Celtics encourage kids to be two- or three-sport athletes. He was counting on Godfrey the pitcher to be under center this fall.
“That’s a big blow to our program,” said Coglianese, who learned of the decision two weeks ago. “Jake is a great athlete. He is one of those multisport kids we talked about. He’s a smart kid and he’s 6-3 or 6-4 with an outstanding arm. It’s a shame because he could be a great quarterback as well.
“It was his decision. It didn’t come from coach Smith or anyone else at Providence. Coach Smith wants his kids to play multiple sports. I just think there’s more pressure from travel teams these days for kids to stay with a sport year round.”
Godfrey did not make the decision on a whim. He did not return calls, but a family member emphasized to me how difficult it was, that he loves Providence and does not want to let down the school or his teammates. This simply is the course he decided is best for him.
Meanwhile, Coglianese and his staff are examining other options at quarterback.
I noticed talented sophomore receiver Miles Boykin taking snaps at the 7-on-7, giving Godfrey a break. We joked then about him being a quarterback.
Now, he’s in the mix.
Coglianese does not know if senior Nate Stramaglia will be ruled eligible by the IHSA. He transferred from Providence to Sandburg for his junior year, played quarterback but stayed there only one semester because he did not like the school experience and returned to Providence for the second semester.
The IHSA rule is that a transfer from a public school to a private school must sit out one year. If he happens to be ruled eligible, the job likely will be his.
“He came back here not even planning to play football anymore,” Coglianese said. “Now he has begun practicing and wants to help out his friends here. It could be all or nothing with him.”
If not Stramaglia, other possibilities are defensive back Ed Wojciechowski and backup running back Dominic Lagone. And there’s Boykin.
“Fortunately or unfortunately, Boykin has been working a bit at quarterback,” Coglianese said, noting the sophomore’s value as a receiver. “We’ll just have to wait and see.
“Jake has arm strength that is hard to find. Now we will work more on the running game and make that more our strength. All the spread stuff may have to be on the back burner.”
Look for quality tailback Brandon Price to have his hands on the ball early and often.
Meanwhile, Minooka junior fullback Mike Ivlow, son of Bolingbrook coach John Ivlow, reportedly has transferred to Joliet Catholic. He would be eligible this season because his residence has changed.
Penn State effect
As a result of the penalties levied against Penn State, Nittany Lions junior tailback Silas Redd, from Norwalk, Conn., has talked with Southern California about possibly transferring there. He rushed for 1,241 yards last season and averaged 5.1 per carry.
Not that this would change anything, but Joliet Catholic’s Ty Isaac will be a freshman at USC the same year Redd would be a senior.
More from the high school football world:
The 16th annual Football’s Fastest Man contest, presented by Graf Speed Enhancement and “Edgy Tim” O’Halloran’s Illinois Prep Spotlight, begins at 6 p.m. Friday at Joliet West. Participants are asked to arrive no later than 5:30 p.m. and bring appropriate shoes. The heats will be run on the outdoor track surface.
The contest involves high school-aged football players, including incoming freshmen and players from the Class of 2012. The entry fee, as always, is $10 or $100 for any team of 10 or more.
Players are grouped into divisions by FB/LB/TE; QB/TB; WR/DB, and OL/DL. All contestants will receive a T-shirt, and medals will be awarded to the top three in each division. Winners of heats in each division will square off to determine the fastest man.
Dion Starnes (Bremen) was the 2011 champion. Winners from the Joliet area include Dondre Adams (Plainfield South, 2008-10), Jacob Arnold (Plainfield North, 2007), Brandon Phillips (Providence, 2006), Jordan Farrell (Providence, 2005), Joe Benson (Joliet Catholic, 2004), Luke Stenberg (Joliet Catholic, 2000), and Pat McShane (Joliet Catholic, 1999-2000).