Although there may be players with bigger names and reputations, at the start of the opening practice at this weeks CaliFlorida Bowl, the one guy that had everyone talking was Vista's (Calif.) Travis Goethel. With his long blonde hair coming out of the back of his helmet, Goethel drew plenty of stares and people asking, 'who is this guy.' The 'backer may have looked more like a surfer than a stud football player but that all changed in a hurry.
No player on either side of the ball has been more impressive through the first two practices than Goethel. At 6-2, 220 pounds, the 'backer has nice size, has had several huge hits and can really run to the football. He probably has done more to boost his stock this week in our eyes than any other player on the Cali roster.
Goethel, nicknamed 'Sunshine' in reference to the long haired quarterback from the movie, 'Remember the Titans,' had one of the plays of the day in Tuesday's practice. In what originally looked like a huge mismatch, Goethel somehow got locked on Cali receiver Terrence Austin. Austin ran a deep curl route but Goethel ran step for step with the speedy wide out riding Austin out of bounds. Austin still almost made an unbelievable one handed catch before Goethel batted it away.
Several of the defensive coaches ran all the way across the field hooting at Goethel and his teammates were quick to slap him on his helmet as well.
"Man, Sunshine can play," Colton DB Shareece Wright said. "That kid has been making plays all day long. At first, I didn't know what to think of him but he's a player."
Goethel, who is man of few words, has taken all the accolades in stride.
"I'm having a good time out here and just working hard," he said. "I'm thankful to be out here and just trying to make the most of it."
On the recruiting front, Goethel said he's down to Washington and Utah and said he's not close to making a decision between the two.
"It's really close right now," Goethel said. "I thought I might be able to decide during the game but I have a lot more thinking to do. Those are both great schools and I like them both a lot. I'm done with trips though and I'm not looking at any other school except for those two."