Ugoh and Goode, Teammates One Last Time

FAYETTEVILLE -- Tony Ugoh and Brett Goode will be teammates for one more game. After that, who knows where the former Arkansas football players might end up?

Goode isn't exactly sure how he got chosen to be one of only two deep snappers invited to participate in Saturday's Senior Bowl, but he's glad he was. He's also relieved that there is a familiar face with him in Mobile, Ala.

As Goode has gone through numerous practices, meetings and interviews with NFL scouts over the past few days, the Fort Smith Northside graduate has been joined by Ugoh -- his teammate over the past four seasons with the Razorbacks.

Ugoh, the former Arkansas offensive tackle, was also included on the South team's roster for Saturday's Senior Bowl.

"It's made it a lot easier," Goode said of having Ugoh with him. "We got a long real good (at Arkansas). ... I've known him for four years."

The Senior Bowl is considered the premier collegiate all-star game, and it gives the 100 players invited the chance to showcase their talents for NFL scouts, coaches and general managers.

Essentially, it's a week for senior players to improve their draft stock.

"It's just been fun," said Goode, who said he has spoken to five or six NFL teams over the past few days. "You meet a lot of interesting people, and you have an opportunity to play with the best and in front of the best."

Ugoh has been projected as a high pick in April's NFL Draft, perhaps a first-round selection. A good showing in the Senior Bowl, as well as in the practices leading up to the all-star game, could help improve the 6-foot-5, 305-pound offensive lineman's draft status dramatically.

Matt Jones was the last Arkansas player to participate in the Senior Bowl, and his appearance in 2005 helped prove to NFL scouts that the former quarterback could make the transition to wide receiver.

"It's an honor for anybody to play in those (all-star) bowls, but (the Senior Bowl) is magnified because the NFL personnel department chooses who gets to play in it," Arkansas offensive line coach Mike Markuson said.

"... (Ugoh has) got to go and show what he can do against the best competition."

Two former Razorbacks, who perhaps have the best chances of being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, were not eligible to take part in the Senior Bowl.

Defensive end Jamaal Anderson and cornerback Chris Houston declared for the draft after their junior seasons. The Senior Bowl, naturally, is for players who just completed their senior seasons.

For Ugoh and Goode, though, this has been an opportunity to showcase their talents.

Markuson, for one, admits he had his doubts as to whether Ugoh would ever make it to this point.

"I didn't know how much football meant (to him)," Markuson said. "This year he had a very, very good year, and he did some things that we had seen him do early on."

Now Ugoh hopes to do it for NFL executives.


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