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Sept. 22, 2003

by Douglas Adams, USC Sports Information

Mikal Goodman was recruited in Coach Holtz’s first recruiting class at South Carolina as a quarterback, but like everything in life, things change. The Daytona Beach, Fla., native, got his chance early in 1999 after Phil Petty was injured. Goodman appeared in seven games with three starts and showed early signs that he was a true athlete as he completed 32-of-65 passes for 572 yards and three touchdowns against only one interception.

While Goodman proved himself as a quarterback in 1999, the Gamecocks changed their offense in 2000 from an I-formation to the spread. During the spring of 2000, Phil Petty returned and earned the starting nod, but Goodman enjoyed his playing the game and the chance to prove himself. He would not quit as he wanted to help the team in some way.

“Coming in and performing was great,” said Goodman. “I got my chance because of injuries to Phil Petty and Josh Rogers so I had to step up and fill in for two really good quarterbacks. Playing in the situation that we were in was tough because everyone was very young on offense. It was a learning experience for all of us but I knew that we just had to play as well as we could under the circumstances.”

Goodman played quarterback in the 2000 Spring Game and led the White squad to victory on an eight-play, 50-yard touchdown drive. He would remain the backup until mid-season when he was moved to the secondary.

Goodman was listed at spur in 2000 but came back in the spring of 2001 as a wide receiver, his third position in three years. Goodman made a great transition from quarterback to the secondary and on to wide receiver but after appearing in two games in 2001, Goodman was bothered by a groin injury and red-shirted.

“Moving to the secondary was hard because I had played quarterback and my heart was still there,” said Goodman. “All I wanted to do was get on the field and help the team no matter if it was on defense or on offense or special teams. Helping the team win at any cost was my main concern.”

In the spring of 2002, former running back coach Buddy Pough left USC to become head coach at South Carolina State. Goodman had two years of eligibility remaining and had a chance to go to South Carolina State and play quarterback but turned it down to remain a Gamecock.

“I stayed at South Carolina for two reasons,” said Goodman. “For starters, I’m not a quitter and I am committed to this football team. The other reason is that I was a year away from graduating and I wanted a degree from the University of South Carolina.”

During the fall of 2002, Goodman was penciled in as the backup receiver and played a lot on special teams. After having a chance to go elsewhere, Goodman made a mark by appearing in 10 games with one start. He finished the season with 10 catches for 121 yards. He showed that he was not a quitter as he helped the Gamecocks win. Goodman’s most important goal was reached in the spring of 2003 when he received his degree in Retail. He is preparing for life after football with a possible future of owning a record company with a friend.

Starting the 2003 season, the new graduate of the University of South Carolina has become one of the team’s best possession receivers. Goodman started the season with 10 career catches but after having his best spring camp, Goodman was a factor in the Louisiana-Lafayette victory. He helped lead the Gamecocks to victory by making six catches for 66 yards. Goodman has accomplished his goals that started back when he was part of Head Coach Lou Holtz’s first recruiting class, but is still looking to go out with a bang.

Goodman looks to play an important role as he sets his goals higher and higher. With everything that has happened in his career, he looks back and thinks that one of Coach Holtz’s motivational speeches is a true way to look at things and everyone should take it seriously. Trust, care, and commitment were factors in his decision to stay at South Carolina. Now, helping his teammates find a way to win and continue to win is a product of Goodman’s desire to play and his ability to adapt to any role that best suits the team.