Auburn, Ala.--It's tough to top Michael Goggans' first A-Day experience as an Auburn Tiger. Only playing defensive end on the Plains since the beginning of spring practice, Goggans capped off an impressive run by earning Defensive MVP honors in Saturday's game. He says that he didn't do anything extraordinary other than giving it his all.
"I just competed hard," Goggans says. "I played fast and physical the whole game. I played aggressive and that's what it's all about being on defense. The coaches talk about that all the time, playing fast."
Goggans prepares to rush the passer.
Signed as a tight end out of Benjamin Russell High in Alexander City, Goggans was impressive last fall on the scout team offense because of his combination of size and speed. That combination was too much for the Auburn coaches to keep on the bench this season though as Cole Bennett's return for a fifth-year made the move to defensive end an obvious one for Goggans. Now feeling comfortable, he says Saturday's play is yet another step for him on the defensive side of the ball.
"I think I'm settling in real well," Goggans says. "At one time I thought I had everything down at tight end. When I moved I didn't have my defensive moves but when I went over there I saw I still had my defensive technique. I just need to work on some of the little things. Right now I'm doing okay.
"This was my first A-Day game and my first big scrimmage," he adds. "When I went out I was a little bit nervous but once I got my first series I came out more relaxed. I think I did real good. Going to defense I was a little shaky about it. After looking back, I think that transition is the best thing I could have done. I feel comfortable at the defensive end spot."
A physical specimen at 6-4 and nearly 260 pounds, Goggans is the perfect blend of parts for a college defensive end. With the strength to take on blockers and the speed to run around them and get to the quarterback, Goggans will be a player to watch as he continues his rise up the depth chart at end.
With his first test passed with flying colors, Goggans says that it gives him the confidence he'll need when the games begin for real next fall. While it wasn't LSU, Florida or Alabama, Goggans says that Saturday's A-Day game gave him a chance to get a feel for the game and now he's ready for the real thing.
"It was real fun to get out there," Goggans says. "It was great just to compete against the offense. It was really my first big experience in a game situation. It was real special for me."