In a t-shirt, Michael Goodson strolls the empty halls of Klein (Texas) Collins High after a study session. He is late for practice, but he has a good reason and he has a note -- the all-powerful signed note from the teacher.
A signed note is a powerful thing. It gives credibility and validity. When February comes around, who will Goodson sign actually sign with? Will it be Oklahoma State, who he verbally committed to this summer or will he be swayed by one of the big boys?
While getting ready for practice this September afternoon in an empty locker room, Goodson gives a recruiting update while changing into his pads.
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The text messages still fill his cell phone and coaches are still visiting his campus. Assistant coach Ken Norton of Southern California and head coach Dennis Franchione of Texas A&M are the most recent big names to visit the north Houston school.
"I'm taking another look around," The Rivals100 member said. "I've set up visits to Texas A&M and USC for November and December. I've got to check out USC. They are the best in the country right now.
"Coach Fran has been here also. He's been really cool when I've talked with him. They have a lot of big backs there. I think I could fit in."
Oklahoma State and LSU round out the Goodson's final four. Oklahoma State has the verbal commitment and LSU is on the outside looking in.
"Who knows, I wouldn't be surprised if he changed his mind," Klein Collins coach Ronnie Feldman said. Feldman was in attendance for Goodson's verbal commitment on KPRC's Sports Sunday with Randy McIlvoy.
While he continues to mull over the biggest decision of his life, Goodson returned to practice this week with hopes of getting his season started against Magnolia.
"I was slowing down running out of bounds in a preseason game against Aldine and someone hit me from behind," he said. "He hit my ankle. I'm used to cheap shots. At the end of plays, I get cheap shots. In the end zone I get cheap shots."
Goodson played part of the opener against Klein Oak before tweaking his ankle again. He sat out against Aldine McArthur, and Klein Collins lost for the second straight week.
"I'm ready to have a big game," he said. "It's been so tough sitting out. When we lose, I feel everyone looking at me."
They will be until the second Wednesday in February.