Next in line

CLEMSON - Malliciah Goodman has prepared himself as a starter eight times already this year.

The only change to this week is that he'll likely start in place of the injured Da'Quan Bowers on Clemson's defensive line.

As it stands on Monday, he is doubtful to play against Florida State on Saturday night because of a knee injury he suffered in the 49-3 win over Coastal Carolina. When Goodman saw Bowers lying on the ground after the Chanticleer's first offensive play, he thought it was a "little stinger."

"I thought he got a little hurt and would be back," Goodman said. "Then he hobbled off and I thought, ‘I guess I have to go in.'

"I was prepared to take that role."

Just a freshman, Goodman has played significant meaningful snaps (171 total) in every game of this year. He's also been in on 20 tackles (five for loss) and made two sacks.

Graduating from West Florence HS a semester early and enrolling at Clemson for the spring semester paid huge dividends in allowing Goodman to see early success.

"It helped getting more experienced, getting how the feel of college football is and the tempo," he said. "Learning all the plays and getting used to the playbook/calls, it helped out a good bit."

Apart of a defensive end rotation that also includes Ricky Sapp, Andre Branch and Kevin Alexander, Goodman appreciates the swagger and leadership Bowers that provides.

"He's all over the place. He's a pretty good player," Goodman said. "Over on the sideline, he gets you pumped up, gets you up whenever you're down. It's a big plus having him out there."

Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele joked that the group is used in such a diverse manner during games that he doesn't even know who's playing sometimes.

"We role those guys up front. We feel like we've got a pretty good group of guys," he said.

Goodman is still allowing himself a little wiggle room for "rookie mistakes," but is getting to the point where that's becoming unacceptable.

"Those mistakes I make shouldn't be made," Goodman said.

Though his technique was "sloppy" early in the season, Goodman believes that improving his technique during the week will help him play better on Saturdays.

"I can be as good as I want to be, as long as I apply myself," he said. Top Stories