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November 5, 2012
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. - Tahaan Goodman is outstanding in 7-on-7 tournaments because he's so athletic and rangy, but his bread and butter, where he performs best, is with pads on, in real games on Friday nights.
The four-star safety from Rancho Cucamonga likes to hit. Not ashamed to say it. Loves to lay the wood, and that's why he's so excited about playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Goodman, rated as the fourth-best safety and No. 44 prospect in the 2013 class by Rivals.com, and his teammate, four-star cornerback Chris Hawkins, were given their Army game jerseys during a presentation Monday at their high school.
The four-star is ready to strap on the pads. He's shown out in 7-on-7 tournaments and during his high school career, and the Army game provides Goodman the opportunity to prove his worth against the nation's top players.
"This is my element," Goodman said. "I get to finally show what I can do together with the pads on and in coverage. A lot of these players have only seen my coverage and they haven't seen me hit yet. I want to come and show everybody how I can play and compete at that level.
"It's a lot different especially for safeties (in 7-on-7 and in games). You have to worry about different things and they have to worry about different things. It's a lot different with pads."
Recruiting is still wide open for Goodman, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound recruit who's rated fourth in the California state rankings by Rivals.com.
"(LSU) is still high on my list and I'm still taking an official (visit) there for sure," Goodman said. "It might be a different game or it could be after the season.
"I just really want to take my officials to the schools in town. I just want to have a good time and really take a visit to a school that I could actually go to instead of just going for a trip. I want to go and hang out with the players. Even though you can do that on an unofficial I want to go and spend more time there.
"UCLA has been recruiting me a lot harder. It shows they want me more and they've been talking to me a lot and making sure I'm good."
The de-commitment of four-star Max Redfield from USC on Sunday night could play a factor later in Goodman's recruitment, but it does not mean he'll make an immediate pledge to the Trojans.
LSU, UCLA and some others remain serious contenders and Redfield's choice to open back up reinforces Goodman's decision to wait things out, remain patient and make his commitment later in the recruiting process.
That could provide even more drama at the Army game in January.
"Like I've said before, I knew there were going to be commits and de-commits and everything so I just want to take my time instead of being the one who commits somewhere and then having to rethink it," Goodman said.
"Right now I'm at the point of still doing that and I still have the time. I might just take it to the Army game or whenever I'm ready. I really just want to take my officials. That's how I can really find out where I want to be."