The Courier Journal is covering the recruitment of football player Kiyaunta Goodwin, a 6-foot-7, 360-pound 14-year-old football prospect with at least 10 scholarship offers who plays three musical instruments and has a budding interest in engineering. Today’s story focuses on his adjustment to high school and his first high school football game.
In the third quarter on Saturday, Holy Cross High School freshman Kiyaunta Goodwin approached the line of scrimmage and took his spot at left tackle.
The now 6-foot-8, 315-pound 14-year-old crouched down in a three-point stance and yet still towered over the players, referees and coaches on the Fairdale High School field.
Within seconds of the snap, Goodwin blew by the Shelby County High defender and into the second level of the defense. The lineman with scholarship offers from Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Louisville then cleared a path for his quarterback to waltz 32 yards into the end zone.
After celebrating with his teammates, Goodwin headed back to the sidelines and took his spot on the metal bench, all smiles. With his team up 28-10, he was asked to grade his performance so far in his first high school football game.
“I think I only got two negatives, but Chris will find something,” Goodwin said during the game.
He was referring to his trainer, Chris Vaughn, who grades each of Goodwin’s snaps with a plus, minus or zero.
Zero means he did his assignment, plus means he beat expectations and minus is unacceptable, meaning a lack of effort, bad pad level, poor eye discipline, a missed assignment or bad technique. The grade is put on a 100-point scale, and each lost point means five minutes of cardio exercise.
When Vaughn graded the game, Goodwin was right.
Seventy-three — or 2 hours and 15 minutes of cardio.
Goodwin said he spent his final summer before high school doing “anything that had to do with burning a lot of calories at one time.”
The football prospect at one time was pushing 400 pounds. So Goodwin started a rigorous seven-week workout and diet on June 1. He spent hours running outside and on an elliptical. He ate lean proteins and vegetables and drank lots of water.
By the time he was done, he had dropped from 398 to 315 pounds. He also grew another half-inch.
“It’s going to be a while before I eat a salad again,” Goodwin said last week.