Goff Lauds UMD's Academics, Program

Episcopal High School (Alexandria, Va.) defensive tackle Joseph Goff has a UMD offer.

Maryland has been making a concerted effort to tap into the Northern Virginia area, where there’s plenty of Division I talents who could potentially aid the Terrapin program.

Episcopal High School (Alexandria, Va.) typically produces a top-level recruit or two every so often, and new area Terps recruiter Keenan McCardell has already made his presence known at the school.

In fact, he will be taking a long, hard look at defensive tackle Joseph Goff, who has begun to generate serious interest among regional college assistants.

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“I was really excited about getting an offer from Maryland,“ said the 6-foot-5, 265-pound two-way lineman Goff. “It’s obviously a great football and academic school. It’s a Big Ten program, and they play a great brand of football there. I’ve been talking to Coach McCardell and Coach [Chad] Wilt; I’ve been in touch with both.

“They were saying how I had a great football mentality, how they liked my size and how I could fit in well there. They wanted me to come visit and how they loved what I could bring to the program and whatnot. I’m definitely looking into them and looking to visit.”

Goff will take in College Park, Md., for the fist time in March. He said he’s looking forward to meeting the staff first-hand and seeing what UMD has to offer.

“Maryland is one of the schools that’s standing out to me now, so I’m eager to see what it’s like down there,” Goff said. “Just the academics and the program there, it stands out to me. It’s a Big Ten school, it’s a really good opportunity for internships and a degree, and it’s convenient to home. So, yeah, Maryland is one of the schools I’m definitely looking at.”

Other than the basics that Wilt and McCardell imparted, Goff doesn’t know too much about UMD. He admitted he didn’t watch the Terps on TV last year, nor did he take any trips up to College Park, Md.

“But I think Maryland is a program that’s definitely on the rise,” Goff said. “I feel if they just add a couple more pieces, they’ll be a big player in the Big Ten.”

Besides Maryland, Goff has offers from the likes of Boston College, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, ODU, Army, Navy and others. He said the academics, in particular, have caught his eye at each of those institutions.

“For standouts, I mean, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt and BC are great, because they’re great schools with great educational opportunities,” Goff said. “And now you can add Maryland into that mix. Army and Navy are obviously great too, but like Va Tech, Vanderbilt, Maryland, Boston College, those kind of stand out right now. They’re definitely great programs.”

Goff has taken in Tech and Navy before, and will be at BC for the fist time March 12. He doesn’t have any other trips set in stone, but figures to see UMD, Pitt, Vandy, ODU and others the spring and summer.

“BC has always been kind of like a dream school for me. I’ve had a lot of teachers from [Episcopal] that have gone there, so it’s somewhere I’m familiar with and comfortable with,” Goff said. “Virginia Tech is another favorite. It’s a great football school, it’s great academics and it’s close to home. The coaches have been there forever and they have built something great there.

“But I’m still pretty open in my recruitment. I’ll know more after I see some of these schools.”

Goff, not surprisingly, is part of the honors society at Episcopal. He is currently on a retreat to the Dominican Republic, where he and his classmates will assist the underprivileged youth in the area.

“When I get back from the DR, I’m looking to check out all these schools,” Goff said. “Right now, besides what coaches have told me, I don’t know much. So I’m looking to take some visits, and my decision could come at anytime, either before the season or after.”

Goff said he played both sides of the line at Episcopal, though his primary position was defensive tackle. He projects as an interior defensive lineman in college.

“I feel as if I have decent size, good range, good agility and good acceleration off the ball,” Goff said. “But I have to keep working on my footwork, and I have to be more aggressive. That’s the main thing with me.”

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