An Interview With Na'Shan Goddard

Offensive lineman Na'Shan Goddard took the time to speak with Gamecock Insider's Russ Perry following Wednesday's rained-out practice. This is what he had to say ...

Interview With #70 Na'Shan Goddard.

(Editor's Note: Na'Shan Goddard is truly one of the good guys - one of the most pleasant, well-spoken and polite young men you will ever meet. A great smile and demeanor.)

On Being The Starting Right Tackle This Season:

"I'm ready. I've been working hard to get here and I'm ready. I want to do whatever it takes to help the team and the best way for me to do that is to work hard like I've been doing and to anchor the right side of the line and do my job over there."

On His Offensive Linemen Teammates:

"Everybody already knows about Travelle (Wharton). He's the man and he is the leader of our group by action. But then there's Jeff Barnes, I mean he is so smart, people don't know. He is one of these guys that will out smart you on the offensive line. And (John) Strickland is another one. He's going to get it done in the middle this year. His time has come, he's been waiting for this and he is going to do well believe me. (Jonathan) Alston is doing the best right now maybe, and that's saying a lot you know? But that's how good he is. He's turned out to be really good."

On His Assessment Of Their Potential Performance This Year:

"We're going to be good. We're taking a lot of pride in ourselves as a unit. (pause for thought) Here's the deal about us this year. We're tight as a group ... all of us. Everyone of us. We do everything as a unit you know what I mean? We go to the movies together. We eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together. Not just one or two or three of us ... ALL of us. I know this may sound cliche, but out of all the lines we've had since I've been here, I think we have the best chemistry. We genuinely like each other so we are going to be taking care of each other out there (on the field), you know what I mean?"

Even The Second Team Guys?:

"Absolutely. And let me tell you something about them. They are going to surprise you. Oh yeah. Just wait. Kris Mick, man that guy is intense. He's strong too, really intense. Woodly (Telfort), he is good. I know about the blood tests and all that but he'll be alright and he is good. Josh, man Josh (Malloy) has come in ready to play. He lost a lot of weight and got a lot stronger. We were all like, 'Josh, Josh is ready.' (Stephan) Sene is really good too. These guys are pushing us and they are young! But they are really pushing us that's how good they are."

On His Attitude On The Field (sometimes accused of being too nice):

(he laughs) "Yeah, well, I'm not this nice when I'm on the field. It changes then. And maybe I have been a little too relaxed out there in the past but I'm a little older now and I understand how to focus and raise my intensity a little bit ... but still stay in control. I'm not always this nice."

On The Upcoming Season And Team Goals:

"We were not happy with last season. It taught us a lesson Coach Holtz had been trying to teach us ... a lesson about chemistry and team unity. We learned our lesson. And we realize team chemistry is not developed overnight. You have to be able to depend on the guy to your right and left and that takes time - trust does not come easy. Keeping that trust is even harder. We've worked on that all summer by sticking together and doing things together, so we're ready to fine tune it now."

"We're not overlooking anybody. We're going to focus on one game at a time. But I can tell you this, we're all looking forward to that Georgia game. It's not because Georgia is special or anything, although they are the defending conference champs. But it is because they are our first SEC game and the conference games are where the intensity goes up you know what I mean?"

On Coach DeGuglielmo

"He's cool. I mean he teaches us that maybe more than any other position we have to work as a unit, like a family. He's hard on us but he's fair. He treats us like men. As long as we do our jobs we have no problems from Coach. He has high demands from us and we like that.

Final Words:

"We're going to get the job done, our offensive line. We are very confident about that."

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