“(It’s) great,” Goeas said. “I love this town.”
After a standout career at St. Louis High School, where he was a three-star prospect and ranked as the No. 7 player coming out of Hawaii and the 55th ranked inside linebacker in the country by one recruiting service, Goeas originally committed to Tennessee.
He describes what transpired next.
“The whole coaching staff got fired so I lost my offer there,” Goeas said. “Kansas was always one of my top schools and top selections. Once that went down (at Tennessee), I went immediately to coach (Charlie) Weis and (he offered me a scholarship).”
Goeas talked about what sold him on Kansas, which he chose over Hawaii, UCLA and Washington State.
“I kind of like being in like a farm town. It’s very different from the island setting of Hawaii," he said. "It’s something new. I like new things, a different environment. The beach, it’s all laid back. The football, it’s very physical.”
Goeas could be a name to watch for Jayhawk fans. After all, he has great bloodlines. Goeas’ dad, Leo, played eight seasons in the NFL as an offensive lineman for the San Diego Chargers, Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams and Baltimore Ravens, starting 81 of 11 games during his career.
“He tried to make me at first be a lineman,” the 6-2, 245-pound Goeas said. “I didn’t want anything to do with that. He just wanted me to get big as I possibly can and get my arm in the dirt and be a lineman. At first, I wanted to run the ball as a running back (he was an all-state running back as a sophomore in Monument, Colo.), but slowly and slowly, I (became a linebacker) and here I am.”
Now, after redshirting last year, Goeas sees KU’s defense as much better from 2013.
“I think our defense is leaps and bounds better,” he said. “I think we’re all coming together as a group and we’ve been picking up our game speed and trying not to loaf, trying not to slack off while running to the ball and finish up tackles. I feel our defense is vastly improved.”
Goeas has learned a great deal from star senior captain linebacker Ben Heeney, in the way the Hutchinson, Kan., native goes “from tackle to tackle, being quick, taking on a block and shedding it.
“I see him as our leader, the face of Kansas. I like who he is as a person on and off the field.”
In a few years, Goes could be a leader for KU’s defense. Right now, though, he’s just trying to help the team win and enjoy Lawrence.
“Everything is good so far,” Goeas said. “I still have yet to see some of the restaurants. I’ve only been to a couple. I love to eat.
“I need to go out more,” he added with a smile.