Notre Dame football adds U.S. Army veteran as walk-on kicker

On3 imageby:Jack Soble01/22/24

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Alongside South Carolina transfer Mitch Jeter, Notre Dame added one more kicker to its 2024-25 roster. Eric Goins, who kicked at The Citadel from 2012-15 before a seven-year stint as an active-duty officer in the United States Army, joined the Irish as a walk-on.

A Notre Dame spokesperson confirmed Goins’ addition to Blue & Gold on Monday.

According to Goins’ player profile on FightingIrish.com, he started in the U.S. Army as an airborne infantry officer and second lieutenant, later working his way up to first lieutenant. After four years, Goins became a captain. He served as an executive officer to a combat advisor training unit.

Goins, a 2012 graduate of Herndon (Va.) Oakton, is in a two-year Master of Business Administration program with a projected graduation year of 2025. He’s a member of Notre Dame’s MBA Military Veterans Club, and in his member profile, he explained why he chose to attend graduate school in South Bend.

“As I felt I was approaching the time to conclude my military service, I wanted to become a more well rounded and skilled leader for whatever my next calling will be,” Goins said. “Graduate school seemed like a natural starting point for that. I chose Notre Dame because I value how the Catholic faith is the foundation that this University was built upon and continues to stand on.

“I plan to complete the MBA/MGA dual degree here since I feel that US foreign policy and global financial markets are what can be best leveraged to promote lasting peace in the world. This objective is where I currently feel most compelled to direct my skills and abilities towards.”

On the football field, Goins has one year of eligibility remaining, having redshirted in 2012. He was The Citadel’s primary punter and kickoff specialist in 2013 before taking over the placekicker role in 2014 and 2015. His 16 made field goals in 2015 remains The Citadel’s program record, as do his five field goals made and 17 points scored on Nov. 7, 2015 against Virginia Military Institute.

Goins’ field-goal percentage in 2015 was 76.2 (16 of 21), and he made all 42 of his extra-point attempts. In 2014, he went 9 of 14 on field goals and a 33 of 35 on extra points.

As a kickoff specialist, Goins’ best season was also 2015. He kicked off 74 times and averaged 61.1 yards, with 32 touchbacks. His best punting season was 2013, when he averaged 40.3 yards per punt on 43 attempts, landing 13 of them inside the 20-yard line.

Goins was named a second-team All-Southern Conference selection in 2015, as well as The Citadel’s Special Teams MVP, as the Bulldogs won the conference for the first time in 25 years. He was also a finalist for the Fred Mitchell Award, which goes to the top placekicker below the Division I FBS level. That includes FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA and NJCAA.

That season, on Nov. 21, Goins helped The Citadel shock South Carolina 23-22, making a 48-yard field goal in the early fourth quarter. One week later, he went 2 of 4 on field goals as The Citadel beat Coastal Carolina in the FCS playoffs, including the game-winner from 43 yards.

On Notre Dame’s roster, Goins is listed at 6-foot-2, 202 pounds.

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