Originally created 10/09/01

Godsey doesn't mind having Friedgen on other sideline



ATLANTA -- George Godsey won't be too broken up about seeing Ralph Friedgen on the opposite sideline Thursday night.

Friedgen, the former offensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, returns to Atlanta as head coach of No. 22 Maryland (5-0), which leads the Atlantic Coast Conference and has been one of the nation's most surprising teams.

The 15th-ranked Yellow Jackets (4-1) are led by Godsey, a senior quarterback who spent the last four seasons learning the position at Friedgen's side.

So, George, how does it feel to be going against your former mentor?

"I've lived fine without him," Godsey said Monday. "We had our good times and bad times when he was here. I still sleep fine at night and I'm sure he does without me."

While Godsey insisted there was no serious problems in his relationship with Friedgen, it was clear the quarterback feels more comfortable with Bill O'Brien as offensive coordinator.

O'Brien is more willing to listen to Godsey, who already has earned his undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech and is probably the team's most knowledgeable player.

"With coach Friedgen, you take what he says and that's it," Godsey said. "It's good to know you can give your input to coach O'Brien. You could do that with coach Friedgen, but you may not get an answer. You just took what he said for granted."

Godsey had already signed with Georgia Tech a month or so before Friedgen returned to the school for his second stint as offensive coordinator. During that first summer on campus, Godsey developed a close relationship with O'Brien, who was then working as a graduate assistant.

"Coach O'Brien is who I went to to learn the offensive formations, the shifts, things like that," Godsey said.

Friedgen, meanwhile, made no secret that he hoped to use Georgia Tech as a steppingstone to bigger things.

"He told me he wanted to get to the point where he could get a head coaching job," Godsey recalled. "He told me that before I ever took a single snap. I had to respect him for that. I mean, who wants to be second fiddle their whole life?"

Under Friedgen's guidance, Godsey backed up Joe Hamilton for two years, then put together one of the best seasons in school history as a junior. He completed nearly 64 percent of his passes for 2,906 yards, with 23 touchdowns, six interceptions and a 151.9 rating.

Afterward, Friedgen finally got his first head coaching offer - from his alma mater, no less.

Godsey, in the meantime, is getting along just fine with O'Brien calling the plays: 66.1 percent completions, 1,115 yards, eight touchdowns, three interceptions and a 162.76 rating.

"I'm happy coach Friedgen got his chance to be a head coach and I'm happy coach O'Brien got his chance," Godsey said. "Everything worked out great. Maryland is undefeated and we're still playing well."