Kiyaunta Goodwin Brings Top 20 Tools to Kentucky

Nick Roushabout 2 months

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Aritcle written by:Nick RoushNick Roush

@RoushKSR

Kiyaunta Goodwin has stepped out of the limelight since committing to Kentucky, but at least one recruiting service still sees a budding star in the trenches. The Louisville native rose to stardom as a middle schooler, receiving offers from Kentucky, Louisville and Georgia before ever even selecting a high school. He had five-star hype, but the recruiting services fell out of love with Goodwin, well, almost all of the recruiting services. On3 Sports, a new college sports and recruiting website launching in August, is unveiling its first round of recruiting rankings. Even though he did not crack the Top 50 in any other recruiting service, On3 ranks Goodwin as the No. 17 player in America. https://twitter.com/On3Recruits/status/1420054447883948045?s=20 At its core, recruiting rankings are tools used to project a player's future. A three-star is considered a potential contributor at the collegiate level, a four-star is a collegiate starter with NFL potential and a five-star is projected to play on Sundays. After spending time with Goodwin, it's clear that the future Kentucky offensive tackle has the tools to hear his name called in the NFL Draft.

Tangibles

Goodwin has everything you want in a left tackle. He's 6-foot-8 with 35-inch arms, 11-inch hands and a 4.56 second shuttle time. I can give you more physical stats, but you cannot truly marvel at his athleticism until you see him operate in person. He's a Goliath that moves like David.

Criticisms

There are reasons why other services were not as high on Goodwin as other offensive tackle prospects. First and foremost, he did not compete in the recruiting camp circuits. Without scouts eye-balling him in person, they're quicker to dismiss his skills. Goodwin also has plenty of room to grow as a tactician. He has not consistently played against elite competition, bouncing around two different schools in Louisville before settling down across the river in Southern Indiana at Charlestown High School. The Pirates won just three games last fall. The biggest red flag fans of opposing schools like to wave is Goodwin's weight. Early in his high school career he ballooned to 425 pounds. In the spring of 2020 he flipped a switch. While most people gained weight during the COVID-19 pandemic, he dropped 125 pounds. Goodwin is now at a playing weight of around 315 pounds.

The Hook

The criticisms of Goodwin are actually reasons why one should be optimistic that the best is yet to come. Typically football prospects that struggle with weight are challenged when they are 22. Goodwin overcame that hurdle at 16, proving he knows what habits he must abide by daily to maintain his weight. Like many others, I was initially concerned about the level of competition Goodwin played. Then I spent more time with the rising star. It did not take long for me to realize he has what it takes in between the ears to maximize his potential. Offensive linemen win in the trenches not by brute strength, but by using their hands and feet to gain leverage on their opponent at the point of contact. It requires a precise attention to detail, something Goodwin has almost to a fault. To put it simply, he cannot comprehend why people do not follow directions. During a conversation about facing a triple option team, he was baffled that defenders could get fooled by the pitch. "You have one job: hit the quarterback EVERY SINGLE PLAY." It's not all about football either. Simple things like incorrectly racking weights or failing to shut the door incense the teenager. In order to be considered one of the best football players in America, Goodwin needed some God-given ability. He maintained his position as one of the best prep prospects in the country by doing all of the little things the right way on a daily basis. Kiyaunta Goodwin's precise attention to detail will be the catalyst to his development at the University of Kentucky, where if he continues this upward trajectory, he will hear his name called in the first round of the NFL Draft.  

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2021-09-24