Game Report: Trimaine Goddard

HERTFORD, N.C. -- On a night when rain, dropped passes, and a persistent Perquimans defense limited Trimaine Goddard to plebian statistics by his standards, North Carolina and Virginia were once again confirmed as the leading contenders for his signature come signing day.

"North Carolina and Virginia are in the lead right now," said the Roanoke HS standout, after his team's 38-7 win at Perquimans Friday night. "They were the only two really recruiting me hard, but then Florida State, Tennessee, and Georgia came in."

On a field that was in extremely poor shape, Goddard was still able to demonstrate the jaw-dropping speed that has attracted such intense attention en route to 151 yards on 19 carries with four rushing touchdowns. He also threw for 53 yards, completing four of ten pass attempts.

Goddard is capable of playing as many as four positions at the next level, but it is in the defensive secondary that most observers predict the greatest success. After seeing the strength of his arm, however, and the accuracy with which he throws a tight spiral, the possibility of a quarterback with sub-4.4 speed could be too much of a temptation for coaches to ignore.

Defensively, Goddard plays a deep rover role -- he lines up between fifteen and twenty yards off the ball, and flies to the action. Roanoke did a solid job up front defensively, limiting Goddard's action to five tackles, but the willingness to throw his body around and hit was evident.

What is it about the 5-10, 175 pound athlete that sets him apart?

"Trimane's just an outright competitor. I would say that's his biggest strength," said Donnie Kiefer, Goddard's coach. "He's a warrior, goes 100 percent from the word go. He has a tremendous work ethic, he's everything you could want in a player, period. The real key is he has those attributes and is also a great natural athlete. You see a lot of players who are average athletes, but due to that great work ethic they make it. When an athlete like Trimane works as hard as he does, there is no limit to how far he can go."

The area of Goddard's game that simply can't be overstated is his speed. To all appearances, he is the fastest player in the state of North Carolina. While he is unsure whether or not he will attend formal combines, suffice it to say he can absolutely fly.

What, then, is the most important factor in what is shaping up to be a critical recruiting battle?

"Where I fit in the best, without a doubt. That's the most important thing to me, how I fit in with the coaches and the other guys on the team," Goddard said.

UNC assistant coach Ken Browning is Goddard's primary recruiter, and he was on hand Friday to see and be seen, even though he is not permitted to speak with Trimane or his family due to the ongoing evaluation period.

"I saw him there today, and he's the one I talk to the most," Goddard noted. "I like him, he's a really nice guy."

This recruiting season, the defensive backfield is clearly a priority for the UNC staff, given the imminent departures of such fixtures as Michael Waddell, Dexter Reid, and several others after the 2004 season. Landing a talent like Goddard would go a long way towards lessening the pain of such high profile losses.

Carolina, along with Virginia, are clearly in the driver's seat to do just that.

"UNC and Virginia are a clear step ahead at this point. I don't have a leader between the two of them, but they are definitely in the lead," said Goddard.

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