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November 6, 2013

Injury doesn't deter Godchaux from honor




PLAQUEMINE - Despite an injury that cost him his entire senior year Rivals100 defensive end Davon Godchaux of Plaquemine has discovered the true meaning of the word commitment.

Not only did Godchaux find out that his scholarship offer from LSU was on solid ground, resulting in his pledge to the Tigers on Sept. 30, but the 6-foot-4, 270-pounder was also rewarded on Wednesday with an invitation to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in spite of not being able to play.

"I want to play but it's all about the future and I've got a big future," Godchaux said. "I'm not going to risk anything or do anything stupid. Of course it's going to hurt me a little bit not to participate in the game but it's a little adversity. Everybody goes through it."

Before a jammed-packed Plaquemine High gymnasium that featured Iberville Parish School Board members, city officials, faculty and students, Godchaux received his official game jersey for the 14th annual all-star game Jan. 4 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Godchaux is one of 90 players selected to the event and the second from Plaquemine, joining former Tennessee running back Jakouri Williams to represent the school.

"It's a big honor," Plaquemine football coach Paul Distefano said. "It's not just about Davon and football. It's a big honor for Plaquemine High, the football program and the community as well.

"I think it's awesome that the U.S. Army still honors him despite his injury," Distefano said. "We weren't sure but it's an All-American thing to stick to their guns and honor him and we're looking forward to the trip to San Antonio."

Godchaux had long been selected to represent the West team in the game before having his senior season taken away by a knee injury in the first quarter of Plaquemine's season-opening loss against East Ascension.

Godchaux will be teammates in the game with fellow LSU commitments Trey Quinn of Barbe of Barbe and Ed Paris, Jr. of Timberview High, while fellow purple and gold targets Kenny Young of John Curtis and Clifton Garrett of South Plainfield (Ill.) will also play for the West.

Two days before surgery to repair his torn ACL and MCL, Godchaux visited with LSU's coaches to get an update about the status of his offer and left with the peace of mind that everything was OK.

Godchaux, a four-star prospect and nation's No. 8 strong-side defensive end, decided to commit to LSU several weeks later with that pledge still firmly in place.

"I wouldn't have even thought my scholarship would be dropped because of my ACL," Godchaux said. "When teams offer a scholarship and then back off, it would look bad on their program. If they wanted me now they would still want me again. People come back from an ACL six to 12 months and that will be here before you know it."

Based on feedback from Dr. Chip Bankston, Godchaux's progressing on schedule and has witnessed several milestones during the first month of his rehabilitation, going from a wheelchair to crutches to wearing only a brace for Wednesday's announcement.

"He's such a hard working kid," Distefano said. "He'll bounce back 100 percent. He's been doing great. After the surgery he was going into the weight room working his upper body. He's been doing his rehab three to four times a week. He's real anxious to get back to 100 percent."

Plaquemine (7-2) has carried on in spite of losing its top player and with Godchaux on the sideline is closing in on the school's first District 6-4A championship in 11 years. The Green Devils travel to face Tara on Friday in hopes of wrapping up the outright crown.

"I'm keeping a smile on my face," Godchaux said. "As long as I'm around my team I'm happy because all I want is for them to win. It's going to be tough, but they're going to get it done. They've been through adversity. I look forward to get to New Orleans to the state championship."

While the school produced former UL-Lafayette and Washington Redskins' standout Brian Mitchell, Distefano acknowledged that Godchaux's recruiting process helped shine Plaquemine in a different light.

Distefano said over the past two years a total of 40 schools from across the country have visited the rural school 30 minutes south of Baton Rouge to recruit Godchaux and his LSU commitment notwithstanding are continuing to do so.

"Brian had a great college and NFL career and was one of the greats," Distefano said. "But no one has captured this much attention at Plaquemine."

Godchaux said his injury has forced him re-evaluate his plans to enroll at LSU and instead of graduating next month will do so in the spring, providing more time to rehabilitate his knee and possibly redshirt his freshman year.

Godchaux also continues to hear Florida State, UCLA, USC and Ole Miss and was the guest of the Rebels when they defeated LSU, 27-24, during an official visit. He's also scheduled subsequent trips to Miami, Florida State and Miami before wrapping up with LSU in late January.

"It's still positive, I'm 100 percent solid for LSU," Godchaux said. "I've been to LSU a thousand times almost. I'm going to see different things before I'm really locked in and get in Tiger Stadium. I'm going out to see the world and after that LSU's my last visit."


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