Having to scheme against a talented cornerback who can man- up against an opposing team’s top receiver is a nightmare for a coach.
Even worse is if that coach has to worry about
that same player on offense. Two athletes in
the state of Georgia, in the mold of former
collegiate two-way athletes Champ Bailey
and Charles Woodson, will once again give
opposing coaches headaches each Friday
night they take the field this season.
Callaway’s Terry Godwin and Greater Atlanta Christian’s Darius Slayton are arguably the
top players when they’re on the field for their
respective teams, regardless of whether it’s
an offensive or defensive series.
Slayton will help lead a young Spartans
secondary that welcomes two new safeties
to the starting lineup. But having a shutdown
corner on one side of the field who is 6-2 and
175 pounds should ease the transition for
the influx of youth.
“I can keep up with anybody and I’m either
taller or stronger than the most of the guys I
guard,” Slayton said.
Godwin prides himself on being able to
come up and stuff the run just as he is in defending the pass. At 6-0, 170, Godwin won’t
shy away from contact in the slightest.
“If they run it my way, there’s no yardage or
even a one-yard gain,” Godwin said. “I’ll meet
you at the line of scrimmage or behind.”
But as talented as Godwin and Slayton
are on defense, both of these players could
be making a name for themselves in college
on offense. Godwin, a Georgia commit, said
the Bulldogs are expecting him to play as a
receiver his freshman year. The ability to win
jump balls has often earned him a compari-
son to a former UGA great.
“I see myself a little bit in the image of
“I’m really fast. I can get out real good and
A.J. Green, because whenever the ball is up
around him, he goes up and gets it no matter
what,” Godwin said. “He sacrifices his body
for his team. That’s what I do.”
Slayton has attracted major attention from
SEC, ACC and Big Ten schools, with some col-
leges wanting him on offense, others prefer-
ring to play him on defense. Offensively for
Slayton, speed kills. Early on during the 2013
season, teams played press-man coverage on
him and he made them pay on the deep ball.
run the deep post,” Slayton said. “But I can
also take the short ball and make people
miss and get down the field.”
Both players are talented enough to play
either side at the next level. But for the time
being, the focus is on the present — which
involves leaving high school with a state title.
“That will be great to win a state champion-
ship my senior year and go out with a bang,”
Godwin said. “That’s what you dream about.”
Said Slayton: “A state championship is a
goal but it’s also an expectation. We’re good
enough to win it.” – Jason Butt
GREATER ATLANTA CHRISTIAN