The Next Chapter: Tyler Goodson tells story behind Iowa commitment
Tyler Goodson piled up over 30 offers and the running back out of Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett had it down to Iowa, Wake Forest and West Virginia before announcing that he was heading to play in play in the Big Ten for Kirk Ferentz.
He tells his story behind his decision to be a Hawkeye.
For as long a I can remember, I have loved the game of football. I honestly couldn’t imagine my life without it. I have been playing this game since I was six years old, and some of my best memories are playing ball in the backyard with my dad, brother, and friends. I have great memories of getting up on Saturday mornings to head to the park for little league football games. In fact, my parents have pictures of me as a little boy sleeping with the pigskin.
One of my favorite scriptures is Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “I know the plans for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Thank God for His plan because it was much bigger than I imagined for myself. There are thousands of guys just as good as me, some even better that got overlooked, and didn’t get this opportunity so, I don’t take that for granted.
This journey has been nothing short of amazing, and God blew all my expectations out of the water. I have always dreamed of playing in a Division 1 Power5 program but, had you told me when I was dreaming that dream, that I would have 34 schools to choose from, I might not have believed you. I have been fortunate to cultivate relationships with some of the best coaches in the country and visit some amazing schools and programs.
See, I have always been the guy that had to prove myself, I guess you could say, I was the sleeper. I had to work hard to beat the other guy for the position, so no one gave it to me. My dad has always told me, “don’t worry about people sleeping, just work, if that is what you want, put in the work and they will wake up.” That advice he gave me many years ago, I carry today. I carry it in the classroom, in the weight room, on the field, and in everything I do. I guess my motto is, “You might be better than me, but you won’t outwork me.”
I trained all my life for this moment. I set a goal, kept my eyes on God and, went to work. When the stadium lights go out on Friday nights, I am working, and before they come on, I am working. My mom sent this quote to us in a group text that said, “Hard work will beat talent, when talent wont’ work.”
To all my little dudes that share this dream, or even high school players feeling like you are being overlooked, my advice to you keep your head to the ground and grind. Don’t worry about what you see on social media. There will be times you have to tell your friends no, I can’t hang, I have a dream to chase.
If you don’t have stars, who cares,. If you are not ranked, who cares at the end of the day ,your goal is to play next level football. Focus on the important things like being a leader at your high school, develop a relationship with your coaches, and let them give you advice on how to improve your game, take their advice and work on getting better, so that when your name is called, you are ready to answer.
Your high school coaches will be the best resource you have. Don’t be a chaser of stars, or offers, chase the goal, chase the dream. Keep God in front of you, work hard, play the game with passion, leave it all on the field, and I promise it will pay off.
This has been one of the hardest, and scariest decisions I have ever had to make as a young man. After all, this decision will mold and shape the landscape of my adult life. I started this process not knowing where to even begin so, when recruiting took off for me, I sat down with my parents, and we did a list of things that were important for me. After we finished the list, my mom said something that resonated with me, and I carried it through the process,” When you find home, you will know.”
Among the many things we placed on that list 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 fit the offensive scheme, and a strong offensive line, because we all know a great running back is only as good as his offensive line. In fact, I wouldn’t be here without those dudes that lined up in front of me on Friday Nights so, shout out to Justin Bullock, Will Hamilton, Warren Ericson, TJ Skinner, Tucker Heck, Omezue, and Wright Deas. So, honestly, I was looking for the program that had all those characteristics and could prepare me for the next level in life whether that be NFL football, or the corporate world.
I visited tons of schools, and when it came down to it, the top three that I chose fit. I sincerely felt either of those schools could be home. Wake Forest, West Virginia, and Iowa all fit the picture I saw for myself. I trusted the coaches, they fit academically, and had great football. When you build such great relationships with the staff, and could truly see yourself at either place, the picture gets foggy.
However, I went back to those words my mom gave me, “When you find home, you will know.” I felt at home the moment I arrived in Iowa City. It’s a special place, and they offered everything 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.
After a lot of prayer, sleepless nights, campus visits, and talks with my family, I made the choice to continue my academic, and football career at The University of Iowa. A big thank you to Coach Ferentz, Coach Foster, Coach Barnes, and the entire Iowa staff for believing in my gift. I would also like to just say thank to Coach Stewart and the North Gwinnett Coaching staff, for allowing me to be a leader, and for trusting me with the greatness you are building in our program. To the North Gwinnett fans and community, thank you for letting me represent you and for your continued support.
I am looking forward to playing on Saturday’s in Kinnick for something bigger than myself. I am so blessed to be able to play Big10 football with an incredible coaching staff that can make me both a better player and person. I am excited to walk out of that tunnel to the sound of more than 70,000 Hawkeye fans, surrounded by black and gold, all while lighting up some kid’s day.
Iowa City, “I am coming home,” let’s bring home this championship! GO HAWKEYES! #SWARM19