Goodson's Move To WR Appears A Good Move For Buffs
BOULDER - In high school, it was a result of his superior talent. During his first two years in Colorado football, it became the consequence of team injuries and squandered opportunities. For whatever reason, D.D. Goodson has always been a player without a true home.
After spending the majority of his football playing career transitioning between various positions on an almost weekly basis, it seems the Buffaloes' junior wide receiver seems to have finally found a permanent place on the field in which to showcase his immense, yet untapped potential at the college level.
"I feel really comfortable (at wide receiver)," said Goodson. "I feel good and I'm just happy because I feel like I'm here to stay."
Goodson, a 5-7, 170-pound product Lamar Consolidated High School in Rosenberg, Texas, spent his prep career turning heads as an explosive multi-purpose weapon, starring on offense, defense and special teams. His play garnered a number of accolades and awards, and when he accepted a scholarship offer from CU he stood as the most versatile recruit of coach Jon Embree's first recruiting class.
Goodson was expected to redshirt in 2011 but a litany of injuries in the secondary left the team thin on the depth chart and limited in its options. In a pinch Goodson was asked to burn his redshirt and fill a void. He played in four games, made two starts and logged eight tackles in an honorable display of dedication to the team's efforts to succeed.
In 2012, Goodson went into camp second on the depth chart at tailback. However, the whims of the coaching staff and constant reshuffling at the position left him with only five carries for 18 yards all season. This year, a new staff has devoted itself to stabilizing Goodson's role on the team and maximizing the abilities of a player whose speed and athleticism is expected add a new dimension to the offense that hasn't been evident in recent years.
"I think if I keep working hard and do the little things I can be a good receiver," said Goodson. "I think all of my assets will come in handy but I think my biggest asset is my hands and what I can do with the ball after the catch."
In position coach Troy Walters, a former record-setter at Stanford, Goodson cannot ask for a better teacher as he tries to learn the intricacies of his new role. Walters was an All-American receiver and the Pac-10 Conference's gold standard at his position.
"I love getting a chance to work with coach (Walters)," said Goodson. "He is hard on us but it's for the best because he knows his stuff. He even puts his cleats on and runs with us sometimes which is cool."
Although Goodson's role in the receiving corps will not be clearly defined until the fall, coach Walters believes that the most likely spot for a player of his skill set would be in the slot position as a weapon most effective in the open field. Lining up in the slot also brings the opportunity to take advantage of mismatches in coverage against bigger, slower linebackers.
"I think he'd be most dangerous (in the slot), but he's still finding his role," said Walters. "He is adjusting so well for someone who hasn't played receiver in college. He continues to work and does everything I ask. He's made a lot of plays so far in camp and he's been a very pleasant surprise."
After two years and little time on the field, some within the program believe that his talents have been wasted thus far, but Goodson himself doesn't regret a second of it.
"I don't feel like that at all,' said Goodson. "I did a lot of learning and I got a good grasp on how to do things right. I knew when I first got here that it would be tough (to get on the field), and I never took anything for granted. I'm excited about the time I still have left."
Goodson has impressed throughout the spring and his nine catches for 128 yards and three touchdowns through three spring scrimmages are tops on the team. As a result, he has calmed the fears of some who felt that he would have to slowly overcome a substantial learning curve at his new position before making an impact.
"I think the fact that there are so many things I learned as a tailback and defensive back that I think will translate over and help me become a better receiver," said Goodson. "At tailback you have to be able to avoid tackles in small spaces and keep your balance and at defensive back you have to have great awareness and I think all of that can also help me at receiver."
After years without a true position Goodson seems to finally be home, just in time to help take a young and inexperienced offense to the next level.