UNLV offensive lineman Tim Goins knows that it's unlikely that he'll hear his name called during the seven rounds of the NFL Draft, but that hasn't dampened his enthusiasm or his conviction that he'll get a shot at landing a job in the NFL this year.
A versatile player who has plenty of experience at the guard and center position, Goins is drawing the interest of scouts from teams such as the Eagles, Bears, and the Jaguars. And a coach from the Kansas City Chiefs is currently looking at his game film. He's also being pursued by the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes, who have scheduled him for a workout on March 31st.
Goins is a driven individual who's not ready to hang up his cleats just yet. That's not to say that the former team captain hasn't prepared himself well for life after football, he just loves the game so much that he's not ready to see his career end at the collegiate level. A highly intelligent and self-motivated person, Goins already has a degree in electrical engineering and is fluent in Japanese. That level of intelligence has served him well on the football field and while studying the playbook.
The 6-foot-3, 295-pound lineman talked about why he believes he'll get his shot to make an NFL roster during this exclusive Scout.com interview.
Ed Thompson: Talk about your pursuit of your NFL dream...
Tim Goins: I graduated in December in electrical engineering, so right now I'm just trying to go full-throttle towards football. I'm originally from Alabama and I really love the game. Everything I do is about football 24/7, so I figured I'd set out here and go to work and do pursue every avenue I could to try and make it to the NFL.
Photo: UNLV Athletics
Thompson: When I look at the awards you've won — for the strongest commitment to the team on and off the field, as the player who leads by example, the student-athlete with a great academic and community service record — it's easy to tell that going full-throttle is your approach to life in general, isn't it?.
Goins: Yeah, it is. If you go talk to any of the coaches on campus right now, I pretty much live up there. They probably want me to pay rent. It's something I've done since I was seven. I did it through middle school, high school, college and now I want to go ahead and play in the NFL. You only get one chance, so hopefully I'm blessed to get my shot.
Thompson: Your offensive line coach called you one of the hardest working guys on the team. Do you feel that's been your key to success?
Goins: I wouldn't say I had the best God-given ability, but I would say that God gave me the ability to work hard everyday. I would say that I'm one of the most dedicated guys you'll meet. I think the harder you work at something the better you get at it. I always try to put 110 percent effort into what I do and hopefully make those dreams come true.
Thompson: It's obvious you were not only dedicated to your football career, but your academics as well.
Goins: Oh yeah, the biggest thing with electrical engineering was there was a lot of math, a lot of physics, and a lot of science. During my college career it was a big-time balance between football and school. That's one of the big reasons I chose to go to UNLV is because they had a nice engineering program that's catered towards minorities excelling in the classroom. I made sure I went there and got that done, but it demonstrates what kind of work ethic I have because now without engineering I have to focus that time on football.
Thompson: So you certainly shouldn't have any problem picking up the playbook at the NFL level.
Goins: Yep. It definitely can't be harder than calculus and all the other maths. I think the playbook is actually pretty easy. You just have to put some time into studying it if you want to pick up anything, but some of those engineering classes were pretty complex. A playbook in the NFL compared to those classes will be nothing.
Photo: UNLV Athletics
Thompson: Let's talk about your versatility playing on the offensive line...
Goins: I remember one spring I actually played every position on the line. I think that's good because when I started out at center, I realized the importance of each person beside me, reading defenses and stuff like that. When I went to guard, I realized you have to help your center and your tackle — they really need you. By playing different positions, you realize how you can be a help not only to yourself, but your also to the teammates beside you.
Thompson: What about your technique do you think stands out?
Goins: I'm not the biggest guy, but I have nice long arms and I can get underneath guys. My run blocking is probably the number one thing, coming off the ball hard and being aggressive. As far as pass blocking, I can use my arms to keep defenders off of me. That's one of the biggest things I'm working on, even in this offseason. Right now I feel like I'm at the fastest point of my life. One of the biggest things for me is I'm a mover-type guy. They use me a lot to pull and I feel like I can move well, get out there and block well. I use my quickness to separate myself from other guys on the offensive line.
Thompson: Anything else I haven't brought up during this interview that you want to make sure people know about you?
Goins: Basically that the biggest thing that people probably don't know is that I'm a guy who's going to give you 100 percent effort. I'm going to put all of my heart into the work that I do and I'm never going to be a guy you have to worry about getting into any issues off the field. I'm always going to be a guy who is going to be good in the locker room. I want to motivate not only myself, but my teammates. I want to have fun because the game of football is all about having fun.