Three years and a cloud of dust

CLEMSON - It seems like it was only yesterday that Malliciah Goodman was the quiet freshman out of Florence, ready to make a name for himself at Clemson.

One of the headline members of Dabo Swinney's 12-man signing class in 2009, Goodman graduated from high school early and began taking classes at Clemson that January.

"I talked about that with Jeff Davis yesterday, how he remembers when I first came in [as] a quiet guy. Now, it's my turn to lead," Goodman said after the first spring practice of his senior season.

"Three years went by so quick. Now, I'm trying to step into the role how Da'Quan [Bowers] did, [Ricky] Sapp and [Andre] Branch in their years. Just being a leader and showing the younger guys how it's done."

And there are plenty of younger defensive ends on the Tigers' roster. No other player at the position has more than one season of playing experience.

"I have to take some leadership on. I have to bring the young guys on," Goodman said. "I'm the senior, then we have sophomores and freshmen, so it's all about making them into leaders, guiding them along and building them up."

Goodman hasn't missed a game during his Clemson career. In his first two seasons, he recorded 63 tackles, three sacks and 13 pressures in 672 snaps.

As a junior, his first-year as a starter, Goodman played 767 snaps. He was in on 59 tackles, two sacks and had 14 quarterback pressures.

The 6-foot-4, 280-pound senior believes that he's done some growing up throughout his first three seasons, both on and off the field.

"Before, I was a little hesitant on the field, a little hesitant off the field, in the environment," Goodman said. "I've gotten a little more comfortable in both areas -- being myself, being comfortable with myself. That helps both on the field and off the field. You get to see your true personality."

First-year defensive coordinator Brent Venables likes the versatility Goodman shows on the field.

"A guy like Malliciah can do a lot of things. He's played a lot and played at a high level. He's very, very athletic for a big, long guy," Venables said. Top Stories