Goodman expects to have breakout senior season


by - Senior Writer -
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CLEMSON – Senior defensive end Malliciah GoodmanMalliciah Goodman
Sr. Defensive End
#97 6-4, 280
Florence, SC

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wants to play in the NFL, but also wants to knock down doors for the U.S. Marshals in case the league doesn’t work out.

Goodman, a native of Florence, is majoring in Sociology with an emphasis in criminal justice at Clemson and said that he would like to work for the marshals once his playing days are over, whether that is after this season or after a professional career.

In 2012, however, Goodman wants to concentrate on knocking down quarterbacks instead of doors.

Goodman set a school record last year with 767 snaps, and has played 1,349 snaps in the previous three seasons. He has been on the field – a lot – and has been on the field when the player on the other side of the line [Andre BranchAndre Branch
Defensive End
#40 6-5, 260
Richmond, VA

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last season] has drawn double-teams from defenders.

Goodman enters 2012 with just five sacks and 12 tackles for loss in his career, and he said at the ACC Kickoff in Greensboro he wants to improve on those totals this season.

“Nobody wants to have just five career sacks,” Goodman told me in Greensboro early last week. “I want to double and triple that this season. I have been close, but I want to get better at seizing the moment and taking advantage of the opportunity.”

Goodman was close last season – he had 59 tackles last year and had 14 quarterback pressures, second on the team. He was close to getting to the quarterback, and he said that he has rededicated himself in the offseason to getting better physically.

"This is the time to push your body during the offseason, because it's going to get tested during the season, so just train your body because anything can happen,'' Goodman said.

Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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said he has challenged Goodman to have a breakout year, much like he has challenged players like Da’Quan Bowers and Andre Branch in the past.

"He's got to take it to another level,'' Swinney said. “He's been a good player, he's been a productive player but he hasn't been a great player yet and neither had Branch and neither had Da’Quan quite frankly, so that's the challenge to Malliciah.''

Defensive ends coach Marion Hobby agreed that Goodman has been close, but now he needs to finish the job.

“He missed more than he made last season,” Hobby said. “I had to embarrass him a little bit. He had his opportunities to get guys on the ground and he missed them. He was a first-year starter and sometimes that quarterback looks so pretty standing back there in the pocket, so easy to get him and just one step and he’s out of your way. Sacks aren’t easy. He’s going to have his chances.”

Goodman thinks he can make those plays – he just has to execute in the moment.

“There are plays that I could have made that I didn’t,” Goodman said. “I have to try to take advantage of those and be perfect. Opportunities are there. I just have to execute.”

Goodman also has the added pressure of being the leader on a very young defensive line – he is the only upperclassman in the projected starters – and he said he wants to lead by taking his game to another level.

“You lead by example. You lead by teaching these guys what I have seen and what I have been through,” Goodman said. “I learned a lot from guys like Andre Branch and Da’Quan Bowers and even Coach Hobby. Now I have to relay that to those guys and show them how to play the game the right way and by doing the right things.”

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