Goodman a step closer

A year after speaking with fomer Montana State Bobcat Jason Goodman about the possibility of walking on at Washington, caught up with Goodman again on Tuesday night. He has been in Seattle since our last conversation, working toward earning his associate's degree with his aim focused squarely at Montlake for a fall enrollment. Jason had some good news to share.

"I was contacted yesterday by the football office and I will be able to enroll at U-Dub this fall," the 6-4.5, 270-pound athlete from Great Falls, Montana said. His grades will be completed by August 17th, leaving plenty of time for Goodman to be enrolled at Washington for fall quarter, which starts at the end of September.

But the NCAA might still have something to say about Goodman's possible eligibility for the 2005 season, despite his intentions of walking-on. "I think there's something with the NCAA and having too many credits earned during the summer," he said. " I intend to do everything humanly possible to be elgible and assure you that I've been doing things the right way and just want the opportunity to contribute as soon as possible."

The most likely scenario has Goodman missing fall camp but being invited as a walk-on with the group that is added to the roster the Monday after Washington's first game. It's very important to Goodman that he is able to practice with the team as soon as possible because he has three years to play three starting this fall and wants to make the most of any opportunities.

"I know they need a tight end, but wherever they want me - special teams, whatever," he said. "It's my dream. In my heart, it's something I needed to do. I still feel like I have a lot of football in front of me and I know what I can do."

Nearly two years ago that dream seemed as distant as the space between Seattle and Bozeman, Montana. It was there - at Montana State - where Goodman suffered a season-ending ACL tear during his true freshman season as a Bobcat.

The injury seemed to wake Goodman up to the fact that the clock was ticking and if there was any time he could take a chance on pursuing his dream of playing football at the University of Washington - it was right now.

So Jason made the difficult decision to leave Montana State and move to Seattle, a place where he had no family or friends. "I was in my comfort zone there (in Bozeman) and when you're in a situation like that you don't have to be your own person," he said. "You can just go along with the crowd. But being on my own here, I'm responsible for everything. I'm seeing the world from a whole new perspective."

While working hard to become eligible during his first fall in Seattle, a chance encounter at a high school football game opened up some doors for Goodman. "I went to a football game at Garfield and I met a guy there named Walter Jones," he said. "Not THAT Walter Jones. He hooked me up with Willie Austin."

It was Willie - who played at Washington and founded the Austin Foundation, a non-profit organization created to support youth and fitness for Seattle-area kids - who helped Jason with his workouts and his rehabilitation at the Gateway Athletic Club.

"The knee is awesome," Goodman said when asked if it is back to one-hundred percent. "I've been working out and playing a lot of basketball, mostly with guys from Seattle Pacific. I'm just trying to stay in shape and stay competitive. I've also been running routes, and I can tell that my knee is great. It feels better than when I was a sophomore in high school. My vertical jump has improved and my explosiveness too." He claims a 40 in the '4.7's'.

Goodman has not shown up at any of the informal 7-on-7 workouts at Washington. Former MSU corner Joey Thomas - who first signed with Washington out of high school - used to go up against former high school teammate Paul Arnold during his summer conditioning. Goodman decided to keep it all at the GAC.

"There are some guys in the gym that have played semi-pro ball, so I've been working with them," he said.

And he also continues to chase the dream. "I'm really excited about this opportunity and realize my dream of playing for the Huskies has come another step closer to being a reality," said Goodman. Top Stories