Goodson should flourish in new offense

With a slew of new looks designed to get the ball into the hands of a loaded backfield, junior running back Michael Goodson could be the biggest beneficiary of the new coaching staff. Aggie Websider's Dallas Shipp has the latest on Goodson after day two of spring football practice.

He was one of the top-ranked running backs in the state of Texas coming out of high school. And after his freshman campaign in 2006, many thought that Texas A&M running back Michael Goodson was going to be the go-to guy for former head coach Dennis Franchione and his staff.

As a freshman, Goodson averaged 847 yards on 127 carries, averaging nearly seven yards per touch. And while his carries went up as a sophomore in 2007, his yardage went down. Last year, Goodson carried the ball 153 times but only gained 790 yards, dropping his average down to 4.65 yards per carry.

Why is that?

The Aggies seemed hell bent on using Goodson in the option attack, which kept the speedy running back from making plays with his speedy and agility. Often times Goodson was trapped by the defense between the sideline and the defenders as teams tried to keep him from beating them with the big play. Quarterback Stephen McGee may also have benefited from the play as well, as teams began to cut off Goodson, knowing that he was the bigger threat to go the distance.

Give some credit to Franchione though for lining the tailback up in the slot in pass situations. When Goodson was able to catch the ball in open space, he made several spectacular plays, racking up 361 yards on 36 catches (10.03 yards per catch) and scoring four touchdowns.

But with a new pro-style offense in place in 2008, expect lots of different looks from Goodson, who has already caught more screen passes in two days of spring football than he did in the last two seasons combined.

But it's not just Goodson who will benefit from the new offense. Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman said on Tuesday that he expects to use his entire stable of running backs in several different looks because the position is so talented.

"We have a chance to do some things formationally to get (the running backs) in some situations (where they can succeed) and obviously Michael has the talent to be able to exploit some people when he's in those positions," Sherman said. "It's one thing to have those things but when you put them out there they have to do it at practice for us to have confidence to call that play and they're doing that."

On day two of spring practice, Goodson has lined up at practically every position imaginable—even working out with the punt return team—and has done exceptionally well at each of the various looks.

And that's good news for A&M football fans.




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