Big play DT has personality to match

HE'S ONLY PLAYED with his hand down on defense these past two years in junior college –- he was a running back in high school. And because he's so new to the position, he has some specific things in mind on what he's looking for in a school. Visiting Washington State this weekend is Deon Goggins, a 6-2, 285-pound defensive tackle with a personality as big as he plays.

On the football side of things, Goggins is looking for a teacher.

"I already have the strength and I have some technique. But I want to be developed. And that's going to be the key thing when it comes to a school – who can best develop me... a school where I can become a better player and really learn my craft, someone who can give me the tools to be out there and have a long lasting career," said Goggins.

GOGGINS LOOKS TO have rare speed for a defensive tackle based on the highlight reel on his page.

"I run a high 4.6, low 4.7. And I'm 285. I think I can get faster, stronger and bigger. My father is 315 and I still can't beat that man in running… WSU likes my motor. They like my drive… And I think what really sells me to schools is my personality and how I carry myself."

OUT OF CERRITOS College in Norwalk, Calif., just outside Los Angeles, Goggins had in-homes this week from Washington State, Syracuse and Baylor. He has already officially tripped to the latter two schools. He holds offers from those three plus San Jose State and Utah State.

"I have no expectations," he said of his official visit to WSU. "I'm going to look at the academic side of the school. I want to see if I'm going to be an asset to the team and if I will fit in. And a relationship is always going to be based on the coaches. If I can see myself having a good relationship with the coaches, being there for the next 2-3 years of my life and playing ball, that's what I want.

'It's about where I'm going to be comfortable to play for the next 2-3 years, whether it's going to school and getting my degree, playing football or both. My degree is No. 1."

GOGGINS SAID DISTANCE will not be a factor in his decision.

"I'm an L.A. kid, but I'm not the typical L.A. kid. I don't care about the weather. I don't care if it's cold or super hot. The last trip I took (Syracuse) was cold but hey, as long as you've got a coat, you can handle the weather," said Goggins.

GOGGINS POSTED 37 tackles, (14 solo) with 9.5 tackles for loss and a team-leading eight sacks, (Cerritos officially counts unassisted sacks as 1/2 each, with Goggins logging 8 total sacks from 6 unassisted, 4 assisted,) this past season. He messed up the works by crunching the line many more times.

"I'm grateful for even having options, for having schools take time out to evaluate me and recruit me. I'm really grateful for that," he said.

The visit to Washington State will be Goggins' third. He doesn't have any more trips scheduled but said that could change in the coming days, and he doesn't anticipate making a final decision until Signing Day, and possibly even beyond.

Deon Goggins profile

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