Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Sun
Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010 | 9:24 p.m.
Two Las Vegas-area high school football players on Sunday de-committed from UNR.
Palo Verde defensive end Daniel Godkin committed to Navy after falling in love with the academy during a weekend trip. He called UNR's coaches Sunday night to inform them of his decision and said they didn't take the news kindly.
"I was surprised with how (Reno) handled it," Godkin said. "Navy was just better for my future. The coaches and players at Navy are guys of honor, character and integrity. I just fell in love with everything down there. It was a better fit for me."
Godkin committed to UNR in November, and even though he didn't cancel his January recruiting trip to Navy, he said he was 99-percent certain he would sign with UNR. Verbal commitments are non-binding and don't become official until the Feb. 3 national signing day.
But on his trip this weekend, Godkin instantly was sold on the program and military lifestyle. He spent time with former Bishop Gorman offensive lineman Sam Womack, who signed with Navy in 2009, and found an instant comfort level with the football team, school and military lifestyle.
"The opportunities are endless with the Navy," Godkin said. "I asked the coaches at the end of my trip if it would be OK to visit another school and they said, 'Go ahead. Nothing will beat Navy.' The confidence right there is the difference (between Navy and UNR)."
Navy, which already has three from Southern Nevada in its program, isn't done recruiting the area.
Palo Verde safety Tyrone Blake said Sunday night that he has de-committed from Northern Arizona and will more than likely end up at Navy. Northern Arizona wants Blake to gray-shirt — not enroll until January 2011 — and that didn't sit well with the four-year varsity performer.
Godkin mentioned Blake to Navy's coaches to start the process. Navy previously had recruited the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Blake, who expects to take his recruiting trip in two weeks.
Blake finished his career with 37 rushing touchdowns, including 14 in 2009, and had more than 100 tackles in each of his last two years.
"I hope it works out with Tyrone," Godkin said. "I would love to continue playing with him."
Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected].