Goodman's early enrollment pays off

CLEMSON - At the beginning of fall camp, Coach Dabo Swinney was very adamant about his desire to see freshman Malliciah Goodman on the field this fall.

Having gone through spring practice, Goodman has already made a big name for himself amongst Clemson coaches. Goodman believes his early enrollment has played a part into getting him ready to step onto the field this fall.

His decision to enroll early has paid off.

"It's been a big help. I've gained a lot of knowledge from the veteran players," he said, "and have been getting my repetitions and a feel of the game."

Goodman told CUTigers after practice on Tuesday that he's coming to practice with the same mindset he brought from Florence this January when he enrolled early at Clemson.

"I just expect to go in there and do well," he said. "I just don't want to make too many mistakes, stay focused and in the game."

He's unsure of how many snaps he'll be seeing from the strong-side defensive end position behind Da'Quan Bowers. Whether it be on the strong-side or at Ricky's Sapp's bandit end, Goodman doesn't concern himself where he's playing.

"I'm just going to play my part," he said. "It doesn't matter where I'm playing."

Thinking back to his days at West Florence HS as the No. 11 defensive end in the country by Scout.com, Goodman said the pace of play at the college level is a lot faster and more physical.

Plus, there's the mental aspect of it.

"Your mind has to be in every play, every snap, every second so you don't mess up," he said.

With every repetition Goodman gets, he believes his technique continues to improve.

"It's almost kind of getting to be where it's like second nature to me," he said. "On every play, I'm just focusing on what I'm going to do for that play."

Whether he's gaining knowledge in the film room or the practice field or just picking up his level of play because of those around him, Goodman is making the most of his time with the veterans.

"When you're around great players, you tend to play great," he said. "It's stepping up my game to get to the level everybody else is at." Almost a week from the season opener against Middle Tennessee, he's still thinking about his plays in practice, not what he's going to see in Death Valley.

"I haven't really been thinking about it. I've just been taking each practice day by day, just trying to get better," he said.

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