With two months to go until the start of fall camp, we're going to count down our 30 most important UCLA players for the 2016 season. These are the players we think are going to have the most significant impact for UCLA this year, so don't take this to mean that these are the players we think are the best long-term prospects, or even necessarily the most talented. Every BRO staffer has ranked his top 30 UCLA players, and from that we've drawn an aggregate list.
Today we'll continue with No. 21.
21. Randall Goforth, RS Senior Defensive Back
2015 Statistics: 70 tackles, two interceptions
Why He's Important: This is actually an interesting one, because despite Randall Goforth being a multi-year starter at safety and being a senior, there's a chance he doesn't even end up at safety during his senior season. Throughout spring practice, he actually spent most of his time at cornerback. While some of that was likely due to the lack of depth UCLA had at cornerback this spring, that period of time allowed a few players to emerge at safety -- Tahaan Goodman, Adarius Pickett, and William Lockett among them -- as legitimate starting options for this coming season. Each of those guys is a little bit bigger than Goforth, and given the overall desire to get bigger and stronger on defense, we could see UCLA opting for one of those options this season.
On the other hand, though, we can't see UCLA just opting not to play Goforth. For one thing, he's one of the most experienced players on the team, that rarest of Jim Mora-era Bruins -- the redshirt senior. There's some real value he brings to the defense as a leader and a coach on the field. For another, he's one more year removed from shoulder surgery, which really seemed to limit him last year, especially when it came to tackling. Getting another year away from the shoulder injuries can only help him.
But the question remains -- where is he going to play? This spring, he was obviously in his first extended time at corner since basically high school, so we're not going to evaluate too much off of that. Still, with options like Fabian Moreau and Johnny Johnson potentially returning to full health, to go along with guys like Marcus Rios and Nathan Meadors, among others, it's not a complete shoo-in that Goforth would start over them. We posited in spring that he might find his best fit as a nickel if UCLA does indeed go for more size at safety, and we still think that might work out best.
In any case, the sheer fact that we can discuss Goforth as a potential option at basically any position in the defensive backfield lends more weight to his level of importance. Throw in his not-inconsiderable talent as a kick and punt returner, and it's virtually certain that Goforth is going to be a significant contributor to UCLA in his senior season.
What's Been Said About Him:
"Randall exudes confidence from other players because he knows how to get everybody in the right spot." -- defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, April 22, 2015
Most Recent Interview:
30 Most Important Bruins for 2016
|Rank||Name||Highest Rank||Lowest Rank|
|21||Randall Goforth||12 (John Evergreen)||29 (Blair Angulo)|
|22||Austin Kent||17 (Blair Angulo)||30 (John Evergreen)|
|23||Bolu Olorunfunmi||13 (Dave Woods)||Unranked (Blair Angulo)|
|24||Deon Hollins||15 (Tracy Pierson)||Unranked (Dave Woods)|
|25||Darren Andrews||12 (Tracy Pierson)||Unranked (2-way tie)|
|26||Kenny Walker||13 (Blair Angulo)||Unranked (2-way tie)|
|27||Mike Fafaul||11 (Tracy Pierson)||Unranked (3-way tie)|
|28||Josh Woods||23 (Blair Angulo)||Unranked (2-way tie)|
|29||Keisean Lucier-South||14 (Tracy Pierson)||Unranked (3-way tie)|
|30||Nate Meadors||20 (John Evergreen)||Unranked (2-way tie)|