An Interview With Andre' Goodman

Andre' Goodman is one of the most beloved of all ex recent Gamecocks now playing in the NFL. Once you read this, you'll understand why. For our Premium Subscribers only ...

Andre' Goodman

On recovering from the worst knee injury imaginable - and now playing in the NFL.

"I am blessed. I mean I did my part and rehabed hard and God did the rest. But I mean I feel blessed and definitely and happy with my life right now. What happened was not a bad luck thing. It was meant to happen that way and it built my character ... so I am very happy and I feel good about my life right now."

When people see it on 'You've Gotta See This' on ESPN, what sort of reaction does he receive.

"Yeah, well people still see it on that show and comment on it. And you know it still gets a little sore these days. But I figure if the soreness is all I am going to get ... like I said, it is a blessing because I am able to do what I love and still play football. I think when people look at it on film it hurts them more than it hurts me these days. I have forgotten about it other than it always being shown on that show for the most part."

On the transition from college to the NFL.

"Everybody is faster ... but first of all when you first get there you have to get over the hurdle of knowing that you belong there. Of knowing and showing everyone that you belong there and are supposed to be there because you are challenged immediately. You have to set your mind to it because if you have the talent a lot of it becomes a mind game. Just to know that you fit in with those guys is definitely the biggest adjustment you have to make."

Moving to the big city of Detroit and the pro atmosphere.

"I mean you can't ask for much more than that. Detroit is a great city. We've got the Red Wings ... it's a big hockey town up there. And we have the Pistons and recently the playoffs and that was a lot of fun. We have all the four major sports with the Detroit Tigers and and Detroit Lions. I mean it is a sports crazy town and I love that because it gives us something to shoot for because we know if we win they will go crazy and that makes playing there that much more fun."

What are his goals for the coming season.

"The goals don't ever change. That is to maximize your talent every day ... day in and day out. That is to take your talent and make something of it. Make something new everyday, do something every day to make yourself better. Take your strengths and make them stronger and take your weaknesses and make them your strengths. Keep working on it ... the goals never change for me. I don't really take a new season and say this is what I want to do 'this year.' The goals are always the same for me and that is to maximize what God has given me to work with."

On being back at USC and also what it is like in an NFL locker room among so many ex-SEC players.

"It's the competitive nature of the guys in the NFL. They're going to bet you on your college team. Always. Always. I mean you have got to follow your college team because there is always going to be someone coming up to you from another school and challenging you. Athletes you know. I mean we watch our games on Saturday night and the SEC is probably the most competitive of all the conferences. To have those guys on your NFL team challenge you about your team ... you have to stand up for your alma mater and represent."

"I am here for a reason this weekend. I mean I want to do whatever it takes to help South Carolina get to where we want to be. We HAVE to compete for that SEC Title. We have to. I want to help and I want to be a part of this."

What does he pass-on to the current Gamecocks.

"My biggest thing is, the one thing I always kept with me when I was here ... one day Coach Holtz came up to me and said, 'Andre, practice like an NFL cornerback every day.' And that in itself allows you to carry yourself in a more professional manner and conduct yourself in a more mature manner. Whether it is on the field or off the field you handle yourself in a more mature manner if you approach it that way. I want these guys to understand that ... this is one of the more precious times of your life. You are in school on an athletic scholarship playing football and people want to be where you are ... this is a precious time for these guys. Because when real life sets in and the bills start coming in your name it gets serious all the sudden. Whatever they think is serious now is nothing compared to what's coming."

On NFL Paychecks.

"1000 times better. ::::::::: long laugh :::::::::::: I mean 1000s and 1000s times better. But you earn it. Nothing comes free and nothing worth having comes easy."

On knowing how Gamecock fans feel about him - no one ever has a bad word to say about Andre Goodman.

"You sure about that? I mean even those that remember the deep pass up at Clemson?"

::::::::: everyone laughs :::::::::::

"Well, It is good knowing they feel that way. I always try to carry myself in the right manner ... not to be above anyone and not to be below anyone either. I want to do my part to try to keep everyone on the same page and do what is right in life. Not just football. Off the field too. I think it shows that can build a lot of character using this game. It builds character for life itself if you look at it that way. Take what you learn on the field and use it in life to be what you want to be. So I love the fans here because they allowed me to do that and I will always care about my fellow Gamecock fans for that reason ... because I am one of them. I am a fan too and don't ever forget that. This is my home. This is where my heart is."

Can Gamecock fans count on Andre being active and involved when called upon.

"Have you seen me at all the basketball games? I mean I have been here more than anywhere else lately. I mean I love this school more than anyone realizes. I gotta a lot of pride in my Gamecocks trust me when I say that. I mean this is my home state. I signed here and came to school here for a reason and it will always be that way in my heart. I am not going to ever leave here. You couldn't get rid of me if you tried. I will always be here when asked. All anyone has to do is say the word."

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