Goodwin Fighting for Expanded Role

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Junior Rutgers running back Justin Goodwin does not plan on being a forgotten man in a stacked position group for the Scarlet Knights. One of five tailbacks on the roster with a 100-yard game to his name, Goodwin spoke about his offseason and the battle in the backfield.

Justin Goodwin has 849 rushing yards and six touchdowns to his name heading into his junior season, but finds himself in the tightest battle yet at the running back position.

Goodwin checks in behind multiple tailbacks, including the sophomore duo of Josh Hicks and Robert Martin, this spring but still has a key role in the eyes of his head coach.

“Justin’s a competitor,” Flood said. “Justin knows we’ve got a very talented room, and I would tell you Justin’s having a great spring training camp right now. I’m excited about what he’s been able to do. I believe he’s going to be a big part of what we do going forward. He’s going to have a role on this team. Just like every other skill player on offense, that role gets determined by production.”

The running back room gets even deeper this summer when fifth-year senior Paul James likely returns from knee surgery and Charles Snorweah enrolls.

The crowded room is no concern for Goodwin.

“We definitely make each other compete every day,” Goodwin said. “We challenge each other to do our best and we have fun with it.

“We just challenge each other each and every day to do our best.”

Goodwin showed out strong in the first spring scrimmage with 5.4 yards per carry behind a mix of ones and twos. The Madison (N.J.) product needs to continue that momentum in one of the deepest position groups in Piscataway.

“I just keep working hard and try to do good things,” Goodwin said.

The 6-foot, 200-pound running back played in 11 games for Rutgers last season with a stronger start than finish to the season.

Goodwin made a defensive back impact with the first interception of the season, and played a key role after James’ season-ending injury. He finished with 328 yards on 83 attempts in a season that saw two freshmen step up in back-to-back victories to end 2014.

“I wish I could have obviously done more to help the team out but whatever I was set up for, I tried to do my best,” Goodwin said.

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