The tea leaves were all pointing this way for a while, but Tuesday it became official: Georgia running back Tyler Goodson is committed to Iowa.
— Tyler Goodson(Tgood) (@tgood1110) July 3, 2018
He announced his commitment via a video, which you can watch here. (And you should!)
Goodson, a 5'10", 192 lb running back prospect out of North Gwinnett High in Suwannee, Georgia, is the 14th member of Iowa's 2019 recruiting class. As a junior, Goodson ran for 1437 yards, caught an additional 305 receiving yards, and totaled 25 touchdowns while helping lead North Gwinnett to a Georgia state title. Goodson, a consensus 3* recruit, chose Iowa over 33 other offers, including Michigan State, West Virginia, Wake Forest, Nebraska, Kansas State, Indiana, Colorado, Cincinnati, Boston College, and a bevy of mid-major programs including Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Ball State, Georgia State, South Alabama, and Iowa State.
So what lured a running back from Georgia to Iowa City? Goodson explained his decision in an interview with Hawkeye Report:
“I felt at home the moment I arrived in Iowa City,” Goodson told HawkeyeReport.com. “It’s a special place and they offered everything that I was looking for and so much more.”
“If you follow me on social media, you know that an organization close to my heart is Happy Feat, so when I learned about the relationship with the University of Iowa and the Children’s Hospital, I immediately connected with that."
“There were many things on my list, but some key factors for me were integrity on the coaching staff, genuine interest in me as a player and a person, academic balance, good football where my skill set fits the offensive scheme, and a strong offensive line. Iowa offered that and even more."
That "where my skill set fits the offensive scheme" comment is notable because of how much Goodson's game resembles another recent Iowa running back -- Akrum Wadley. Take a look at Goodson's highlights and see for yourself:
Skip ahead to 2:41 for a run that is the spitting image of a Wadley run, right down to the spin move. The rest of his highlight reel shows plenty of impressive runs showcasing his acceleration in the open field and his patience around the line of scrimmage. He's patient about following blockers and waiting for holes to open, but decisive about going forward when those holes do open. He runs well around the edge and up the middle -- some his best runs involve him sliding through the middle of the defense. He also has some pass-catching chops, both out of the backfield and split wide.
Stephen Jackson, Goodson's offensive coordinator at North Gwinnett, was unsparing in his praise for him, too, as he told Hawkeye Report:
JACKSON: He’s a real special player. What he brings to us is the ability to run the ball in between the tackles almost at will. Whatever scheme we run, he understands it and can find his way through there with patience and explosion. Those two things together are what makes him special, in my opinion, is his patience coupled with his explosion. Also, what really makes Tyler so dynamic and different than a lot of other running backs is that he has the ability to catch the ball very well out of the backfield or line up in formation at receiver, so we can package different personnel groups with him on the field and be more dynamic that way too. He’s hard to cover and hard to catch and understands what we’re doing really well.
But Tyler has the patience of a Le’Veon Bell. I mean he really does. But he doesn’t run like that every time. He understands when he’s got to go and when he can be a little more patient because the scheme is set up a little differently. He goes out wide really well with aggression and then he runs inside really well with patience, which sometimes that’s a switch from what you think. He’s really good at running wide because he goes. He knows he’s better and faster and he just goes with it. But inside, sometimes you think you need a big plug-in back like a lot of teams have down here, especially in the SEC they have these huge running backs that just blow it through there, and he can do that, but he also understands that if he takes a jab step here or a jump cut there, he doesn’t have to. That’s some natural skill right there.
We just had some really great years watching Akrum Wadley tear up opposing defenses; if Goodson is able to have a career half as good as Wadley's, we'll be in for a treat. Welcome to Iowa, Mr. Goodson.