With a running back room as deep as it is at Rutgers, there were not enough traditional carries to share. Instead of a reserve role behind three other players, junior Justin Goodwin transformed himself into a third-down role.
Goodwin's new role at running back include heavy pass protection responsibilities on clear throwing downs and chances to move the chains as a receiver. The former Madison (N.J.) star played a key role in the push for an upset against Michigan State.
"Justin has done excellent,” said coach Kyle Flood. “When we started talking about him in that role, what you’re looking for is a guy who’s got great awareness, very smart football player, which he is, to be able to kind of diagnose where the blitzes are coming from and picking them up and then somebody who’s willing to block them and can also be a threat catching them out of the backfield. I think he’s shown all of those things, all of the qualities you’d want in a third-down back.”
Goodwin has 225 touches and 1,084 yards to his name as a Scarlet Knight, with his most memorable performace coming as a true freshman in a triple overtime win. Goodwin scored the game-winning touchdown at SMU, and will have the same alternate white helmet on Saturday at Indiana.
"They're pretty cool," Goodwin said. "We just had the new black helmet on last week, which is pretty nice. ... [The white] is nice. I like the all white."