UNC head coach John Bunting said after Tuesday's practice, "I'm disappointed for Trimane, his teammates and his family. Trimane is a great person on and off the field and he was excited about the upcoming season. He's a tough kid who made big plays for us and he will be missed.
"I just told the kids that our defense, offense and special teams are going to have to pick it up to make up for the loss. He is special."
Goddard, a junior, is expected to have surgery Wednesday. He plans to use a redshirt year for this season and have two years of eligibility remaining. This is the same injury he suffered this past February that kept him out of spring practice.
"He's a great kid," Bunting said. "He does everything right. He's tough, instinctive. He was making plays out there the first few practices. Fortunately, he's got a redshirt year to give.
"He'll be with us in spirit when he's not with us. We're going to take him on trips a lot with us when we go. I'd say about midway through the second summer session, when I got back from Maine… I'm walking through the office and I see Trimane Goddard in the recruiting room being tutored, because he just doesn't want to get a passing grade in math to get out of the math part of our general college. He wants to get something better. He doesn't want to get a C, he gets a B. That's the kind of kid he is."
As a sophomore in 2005, Goddard started the last six games of the season and had a team-high three interceptions along with 36 tackles.
"[Losing Goddard] is a blow," Bunting said. "We've got to find a way to overcome it."
Heading into fall practice, senior D.J. Walker was listed second on the depth chart at strong safety.
"D.J. Walker has been playing safety for us for five years, so he's got plenty of experience," Bunting said. "Cooter Arnold switched over to defense for us, because we wanted to create some depth over there. Bryan Dixon is our backup at safety. He's a redshirt freshman with a lot of upside. He'll get opportunities. It's there time now. Those guys [Dixon, Arnold] don't have what Goddard has – tons of experience."
Arnold, a sophomore, is listed at free safety behind Kareen Taylor, but will be a candidate to move over to strong safety and fill Goddard's spot.
"We're just going to have to step it up," Arnold said upon learning of the news. "We've got his back. We're not going to let this hold us down."