Rivals100 defensive end Davon Godchaux of Plaquemine High was exactly three series into his senior season when it was all taken from him.
An offseason of getting into the best shape of his life and attending some of the top prospect camps such as the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge were supposed to prepare Godchaux for a breakthrough year.
And in an instant, a push from behind while pursuing a play to make a tackle, effectively closed the chapter on Godchaux's final year before it actually began when the 6-foot-4, 278-pounder crumpled to the turf with a torn ACL and MCL.
Never, though, did Godchaux fret over his college football future because of an assurance made to him by LSU football coach Les Miles some two months earlier that the Tigers scholarship offer was injury proof.
Exactly 10 days since surgery to repair the two torn knee ligaments and on the first day post-operative rehabilitation Godchaux rewarded that loyalty Monday evening, calling Miles to issue his commitment.
"I knew they were still going to honor by offer," Godchaux said. "Coach Miles told me before I ever got hurt that if I walked out and got hurt I was still going to have an LSU offer with my education paid for. That's something that really stood out to me. He was the only coach that told me something like that and that just blew me away."
Although not totally revealing his choice in an interview with TigerBait.com two weeks ago Godchaux named LSU his leader and went as far as to say the school of his choice knew of his intentions to commit there.
Following a difficult weekend in which LSU dropped its first game of the season - falling 44-41 to Georgia - Miles welcomed Godchaux's news with the Tigers beginning preparations for Mississippi State this week.
"It's always fun talking to Coach Miles," Godchaux said. "I told him I was official and committed. He shared what he was thinking and when I get to campus. It's always fun talking to a player's coach. That's the type of coach you want to be around."
Analysis: What Godchaux's commitment means to LSUClick LSU's commitment total increased to 15 with its first pledge in over a month. The value of Godchaux's decision was evident in the Tigers team ranking which jumped six spots to No. 13 nationally with their ninth commitment from a four-star prospect.Here to view this Link.
Godchaux is the nation's No. 8 ranked strong-side defensive end but fully expects to move inside and play defensive tackle in college.
"I'm going to play inside when I get to the next level and I don't have a problem with that," Godchaux said. "With my quickness on a guard, I'll play inside."
Godchaux yo-yoed on a commitment date with initial intentions of making his choice public on December 28. He moved it back to August before pushing it back to his original date just after Christmas.
The injury notwithstanding Godchaux said it was simply time to let the world know that he committing to LSU over runner-up Ole Miss.
He's still planning to take official visits to LSU, Ole Miss, Florida State, USC and Miami.
"I really wanted to get it out of the way," Godchaux said. "A lot of people were calling and saying their offer still stood and I'm still going to take all five of my officials. I just felt that LSU was the place I needed to be. My mom could come to my games since it's closer to home and my family could see me.
Video analysis: Godchaux excels at Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge-ChicagoClick "It's a once in a lifetime thing and you want to have fun," Godchaux said. "I'm still young and want to have fun in high school and enjoy my senior year before I have to get there in June and locked in with a college. I want to have fun and meet new people."Here to view this Link.
Dr. Larry "Chip" Bankston performed the 1 ½ - 2 hour surgery on Godchaux which by all accounts was a success.
"He said how he liked how everything looked and how well everything went," Godchaux said of Bankston. "Coach Miles told him I was one of his recruits and Coach (Brick) Haley called him after my surgery. That's a pretty good feeling that the LSU coaches called and were concerned about my surgery."
Bankston told Godchaux the prognosis was for a six to eight month recovery, a step he took on Monday with straightening out his leg.
"It's just a bump in the road," Godchaux said. "Everybody's concerned, but I'm just ready to rehab. (Former Oakland Raiders running back) Marcus Allen blew out both of his knees. The doctor's know what they're doing. I'll be back in no time.
"I'm going to come back better than I was before," Godchaux said. "I don't think a lot of people understand that. I'm going to be faster, stronger, quicker and more explosive. I'm not going to let myself get down. It's going to be a grind to get back in shape like I was but even better."
Not long after his commitment Godchaux said he hit the recruiting trail for LSU, talking with both wide receiver Malachi Dupre and linebacker Kenny Young of John Curtis.
Godchaux's also friends with cornerback Tony Brown of Beaumont-Ozen and recently spent time with him while both prospects attended the Alabama-Texas A&M game.
"No doubt," Godchaux said of role as recruiter in the Class of 2014. "I've talked to both Malachi and Kenny. I think at the end of the day he'll (Dupre) will be a Tiger.
"I think LSU and Alabama are in Tony's favorites," Godchaux said. "I think (Leonard) Fournette's favoring LSU and Hootie (Jones) also. They're playing their high school football and just focusing on their teams which they should do. I wish those guys the best on their decisions, but I want them to become a Tiger with me. I think they'll all be Tigers."