March 1, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- As Timmy Jernigan showed last year, it doesn't matter what the depth chart looks like; if you've got talent and you're willing to fight for playing time, you'll get an opportunity to make an impact right away for the Florida State football team.
Like Jernigan, Eddie Goldman is a highly-touted defensive tackle prospect that signed with the Seminoles despite scholarship offers from every whose-who football program in the nation.
And like Jernigan, Goldman has the skills to factor into FSU's defensive-line rotation the moment he steps foot on campus.
Even though the 'Noles started the 2011 season with seven returning scholarship tackles, the amount of personnel didn't prevent Jernigan from playing in all 13 games and finishing 13th on the team in tackles. For 2012, FSU returns even more players to the position but that doesn't mean the opportunity isn't there for Goldman to become a similar first-year factor as his soon-to-be teammate.
"[Eddie is] quick, he's agile," FSU defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins said about his new pass-rushing, run-stuffing weapon.
"He can dunk a basketball forward and backwards," Haggins added. "He's just a super athlete."
At FSU, Goldman will join a rotation that is also adding redshirts Nile Lawrence-Stample and Derrick Mitchell into the gameday mix as well as fellow 2012 signee Justin Shanks. Former defensive tackle Cameron Erving has made the switch to the offensive line.
The large number of athletes at the position and the level of competition seems appropriate for a prospect whose services FSU had to compete to secure.
A native of Washington D.C., Goldman could have wound up anywhere in the country. He took official visits to FSU, Alabama and Auburn and the Tigers and 'Noles were considered the two most likely candidates to gain his commitment by the time Nationla Day rolled around.
He ultimately chose the Seminoles not just because of his relationship with Haggins -- a bond that was fortified by an unofficial trip to Tallahassee last summer -- but because of the tradition and family-oriented atmosphere at FSU.
And the "tomahawk chop" he witnessed firsthand at the Seminoles' game against Oklahoma last season didn't hurt either.
"Couple weeks ago, things got shaky with him," Haggins said on Feb. 2, a few hours after Goldman publicly committed to Florida State live on ESPNU. "They got shaky. I said, 'Eddie, you remember your visit?' He took his visit to the Oklahoma game. He said, 'Yeah, coach.' I said, 'Man, you remember that Florida State War Chant?' He said, 'Yeah, coach. I visited other games and stuff. There's nothing like that War Chant.' It makes a difference. Family.
"It makes a big difference."