Recruiting Analysis: Justin Goodwin

Todderick Hunt- SOR Editor

May 21, 2012

By: Todderick Hunt- SOR Editor


Photo Courtesy of Tom Salvas (Patch)

Photo Courtesy of Tom Salvas (Patch)

Rutgers has added its second pledge of the 2013 recruiting class in Madison (N.J.) running back Justin Goodwin. Although not highly-heralded, surprisingly, there are a lot of things to like when evaluating Goodwin’s junior highlights. I say “surprisingly,” since previous to doing my research, I expected to see a kid that in any other year would have had to walk-on at Rutgers. However, that is not the case.


The Good


Goodwin gives a team most of what they look for in an incoming back: speed, quickness (not the same thing), explosion, vision, instincts and the ability to read blocks and make people miss.


Let’s break down the latter trait -- makes people miss -- which is a broad statement to say the least. Goodwin utilizes good body control, balance, change of direction skills and cutback ability to make defenders in one-on-one matchups whiff in the open-field. He’s not overly elusive, though, but runs with very little wasted movement.


Goodwin runs with a low center of gravity, decent power and forward body lean which assists him in often falling forward when his progress is impeded. He also flashes a good pair of mitts and the ability to make the over-the shoulder grab while maintaining top speed.


He is also headsy and utilizes good footwork as well as technique. Notice how he keeps that football in his outside hand. He is a natural and should have no trouble adjusting to RU’s “high and tight” philosophy.


These days, running backs aren’t expected to carry the load as they once were. That’s not due to design but more due to durability. In Goodwin, Rutgers is a getting a back, whom although slender, proved in 2011 to be durable in choking up almost 1800 yards and 29 TDs on the ground.



Toughness and Determination: There is something to be said for a player who rarely comes off the field and doesn’t implode due to resistance from the opposition. Goodwin is hungry. He runs with a persistence that doesn’t often allow him to go down on first contact.


The Bad


Although patience is a virtue in running the football, Goodwin is often too patient, negatively affecting his quickness through the hole. Holes will close a lot more quickly on the collegiate level. The quicker he hits the hole, the less time the defense his to read, react and get to his body.


Goodwin will also have to consistently work at building his body for the rigors of Big East football. Although his slender frame has proven to pack a punch, the day-today pounding that he will undoubtedly experience post-high school prom will lead to him seeking reinforcements.


Although elusive, Goodwin has not piqued out on his flexibility nor the fluidity of his hips. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just an area where he can improve upon.


The Uncertain

  • Consistency of his hands

  • Route Running

  • Pick and slide skills

  • Ability to block

  • Ability to pick up the blitz


Overall Assessment


Goodwin is an athlete who based upon his ability, has the chance to make an impact from multiple positions on the collegiate level; namely running back, slot receiver and/or defensive back. In fact, depending on how he fills out, he might just be an every down back. Take that with a grain of salt.


If his listed 5-11, 180 pounds is anywhere near accurate, it is clear to see why Temple, UConn, Umass and Rutgers have offered tenders. In fact, one would expect Goodwin’s offer list to be a bit more robust at this point in the recruiting season.


I would expect for Goodwin to surprise people and become a second-to-third year contributor on Rutgers’ roster once he settles into a position.