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Elkins senior loves football, but puts academics first

By Michael Sudhalter

Elkins High senior linebacker Leroy Godfrey has verbally committed to play football at the University of Houston where he plans on studying Petroleum Engineering. (Photo by Michael Sudhalter)

Elkins High senior linebacker Leroy Godfrey has verbally committed to play football at the University of Houston where he plans on studying Petroleum Engineering. (Photo by Michael Sudhalter)

Leroy Godfrey is looking forward to being a part of the University of Houston’s football program next fall, but the Elkins High senior linebacker still has some unfinished business in the high school ranks.

“We want to build on the success we had last season and to take it up a notch,” said Godfrey, who chose the Cougars over Fresno State.

Godfrey, 17, moves from defensive end  where he excelled the past two seasons  to linebacker  where he’s expected to play for UH.

He’s spent much of the offseason dedicating himself to learning the intricacies of the new position, so he’ll be prepared when the Knights open the season against Bellaire High at 7 p.m. next Friday at Mercer Stadium.

The biggest adjustment for the 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior will be assuming more coverage responsibilities.

“He’s very athletic and very fast,” said Elkins head coach Dennis Brantley. “His leadership isn’t vocal, it’s by example.

Elkins, which shared a district championship with Hightower and finished 10-3 last season, has remained in 5A, while many of its Fort Bend ISD rivals have moved into the newly-created 6A classification.

Leroy Godfrey

Leroy Godfrey

That means the Knights won’t face Katy High in the playoffs this season. The Tigers, who lost in the state championship game last season, broke open a 21-13 lead over Elkins for a 56-26 victory in a third round playoff game.

While many people associate Elkins with blue chip senior quarterback Jonathan Giles, a Texas Tech commit, Godfrey has brought a lot of respect to the defense.

“It’s a good challenge because we have offensive-defensive battles at practice, and it’s fun,” Godfrey said.

University of Houston is debuting a new on-campus stadium this fall, and that’s part of the excitement that sparked Godfrey’s interest.

But that’s not the only reason.

“I like the direction the defense is going in  they forced the most turnovers in the nation last season,” Godfrey said. “Also, my parents (and family) can come to the games.” Elkins has one of the toughest non-district schedules in the state, with home games against Houston Lamar and College Station A&M Consolidated, respectively, after the Bellaire opener.

“There’s something really special about the team we have this year,” Godfrey said.

Godfrey knows that if he excels at UH, the NFL may be an option.

“The main thing for me is to get my degree in college,” said Godfrey, who’s been on the honor roll every semester at Elkins. “I take my grades very seriously and get mainly As and some Bs.”

Godfrey plans on studying Petroleum Engineering at UH, because he enjoys Math, Science and traveling, and some of his family members are in the profession.

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