UCF coach George O’Leary said he plans to meet with former Knights’ quarterback Jeff Godfrey next week about potentially returning to the team.
O’Leary said Godfrey already understands the things he must do to be reinstated on the UCF football team.
“Jeff called me Saturday night at about 9:15,” O’Leary said. “I didn't get the phone but he left a message saying that he wanted to visit with me. … I already visited with him once about wanting to come back and this and that. I'll gladly talk to him and stuff, but he knows what he has to do as far as to be back on the team. But I'll visit with him again.”
O’Leary said his schedule is full this week, but he spoke with Godfrey Monday and they made plans to meet next week.
Godfrey was the Knights’ starting quarterback, helping the Knights win the 2010 Conference USA title and the 2010 Liberty Bowl.
He struggled during the 2011 season as defenses adapted to his style of play and the dual-threat athlete was asked to deliver more passes from the pocket. The Knights posted a disappointing 5-7 record. Godfrey remained the starter in name only during the final three games of the season and was clearly surpassed on the field by talented redshirt freshman Blake Bortles.
Godfrey met with O’Leary after the season ended and eventually informed him he planned to leave the program.
Godfrey’s father, Jeff Godfrey Sr., and the quarterback’s mentor, Luther Campbell, alleged O’Leary was racist and did everything possible to undermine Jeff Godfrey during the 2011 season.
O’Leary refused to acknowledge the personal attacks and shifted his focus to preparing Bortles and the Knights for the 2012 season.
Jeff Godfrey has spent the spring semester in Miami and has stayed in touch with the UCF coaches. He told FAUOwlAccess.com a few months ago he was heavily considering transferring to FAU, but he had not made a final decision about his future plans.
Godfrey posted on his Twitter account this week he planned to attend the UCF spring game Saturday and asked fans how they felt about him potentially returning to UCF.
Godfrey posted on his Twitter account, “I have no problem apologizing bout wat [sic] I did bout leavin out on the team but wat [sic] luke (Campbell) and my dad had nothing to do with me I didn't say anything bad about the program or about GOL he has my most up respect."
Godfrey indicated his future was in O’Leary’s hands, while O’Leary said Godfrey understands what he must do to be reinstated.
Godfrey was declared ineligible to participate in football spring activities due to an undisclosed violation of university policy unrelated to the football program.
He likely would have to work to restore his status as a UCF student in good academic standing, distance himself from the scathing remarks his father and mentor made about the football program, accept a different role on the team and work to regain the trust of his coaches and teammates.
If Godfrey returns, he would face considerable competition at the quarterback position.
Bortles is entrenched as the Knights’ starter. Missouri transfer Tyler Gabbert, younger brother of NFL quarterback Blaine Gabbert, is slated to enroll at UCF this summer and will compete for playing time. And senior athlete Rob Calabrese is slated to play both the slot receiver and wildcat quarterback position.
However, Godfrey's athleticism, experience and knowledge of the offense clearly could be a huge asset for the Knights.
<b>firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-650-6353. Read Iliana Limón’s UCF blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/knightsnotepad.</b>Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times