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Recruit Profile: ATH Mario Goodrich

May 23, 2017

Who Else Was Interested

Goodrich emerged as one of the top athlete prospects in the Midwest after his junior season, receiving 13 FBS offers prior to shutting down his commitment. Goodrich was considered a Husker lean when he took an unofficial visit to Nebraska to watch the Huskers’ matchup with Minnesota, but offers from recruiting powerhouses such as Michigan and Ole Miss made it unclear if Nebraska would still reel in the impressive prospect. Goodrich ended those concerns following the spring game, committing to Nebraska and giving the Huskers’ their fourth 500-mile radius commit in the 2018 class so far.

Eye Test

Goodrich measures in at 6-2 and 180 pounds and looks like a college point guard right now, as he has a very athletic build with very little bad weight. Goodrich also has the long arms that defensive backs coaches covet when they are recruiting. That will help Goodrich tremendously when he is in press coverage.

Goodrich still has room to fill out his upper body, considering he is still a bit lean in that area right now. When Goodrich is finished filling out, I would expect him to measure in at 6-2 and in the low 190-pound range.

http://www.hudl.com/video/3/4901353/5812ab3d0aff7a2fcccc9951

Strengths

1. His movement skills in space. Goodrich is fantastic in open space on defense. He also has extremely light feet and is able to stop and start effectively. This all makes sense when you consider that Goodrich is a division I basketball recruit with offers from Tulsa, DePaul and Miami (OH). Goodrich is able to effectively mirror receivers throughout their route without having to grab and hold onto them, making him a tremendous field cornerback prospect for the Huskers. Goodrich’s ability to move in space also makes him effective in zone coverage, as he is able to quickly break on the ball instead of having to stop and gather his feet.

2. His ball skills. You don’t get seven interceptions from your cornerback unless you’ve got good hands and Goodrich consistently displayed soft hands on film as a junior. Goodrich shows tremendous concentration and timing when the ball is in the air and he does a great job of getting his eyes on the ball while it is in the air and positioning himself in between the ball and the receiver so he can make the first attempt on the ball. Nebraska’s secondary showed signs of getting back to its ball hawking ways in 2017 and Goodrich will help continue this trend.

3. His ability on special teams. Goodrich is a natural punt returner, as he shows impressive vision and instincts once the ball is in his hands. This will allow Goodrich to step right into the competition to replace Demornay Pierson-El as Nebraska’s punt returner in 2018. Nebraska will have a ton of young talent vying for that job, with Goodrich joining the fray along with J.D. Spielman, Tyjon Lindsey and Eric Fuller for the job, but he may have the ability to win out and see the field early.

4. His potential. The scary thing about Goodrich is the fact that he has become a 4-star football recruit despite not concentrating solely on football to this point. As stated earlier, Goodrich is a fantastic high school basketball player with multiple division one offers, meaning that he has split his time and energy between the sports so far in high school. Concentrating solely on football when he arrives in Nebraska will allow Goodrich to refine the rough spots in his game and become a truly special cornerback in Lincoln.

Weaknesses

1. His press coverage. Goodrich is not asked to press very often for Lee’s Summit West, and it shows in the cases where does have to press. He is a little too aggressive with his initial strike, as he has a a tendency to get himself off balance, forcing him to play catch-up through the remainder of the receiver’s route. Goodrich has the frame to be a fantastic press corner and he has fantastic agility and long arms that can help him; he simply needs more experience with the technique. This is something that Goodrich can improve on quickly once he arrives in Lincoln and Donte Williams is one of the better teachers when it comes to press coverage.

2. His physicality as a tackler. One of the more underrated aspects of a cornerback’s game is their ability to play against the run and make tackles, and this is an area that Goodrich still needs some work on. Goodrich is a bit of a “lunger” at this point, as he has tendency to stop his feet and launch himself into ball carriers instead of shooting his arms and driving his feet upon contact. This means that Goodrich relies almost completely on his initial strike to make the tackle instead of using proper form. Improving this area would make Goodrich a tremendous run support corner for Nebraska. Once again, he has all the tools. He just needs some more experience.

Conclusion

This may be the most intriguing commitment that Nebraska has landed so far in 2018. Brendan Radley-Hiles and Manuel Allen may be more well known and more highly touted prospects, but Goodrich may have more potential than both of them. Goodrich has ideal size and movement skills for a cornerback, he just needs more experience to polish the rough areas of his game.

While he still needs polish before he is ready to play consistent snaps at cornerback for Nebraska, his ability as a punt returner could help him see the field in 2018. Tremendous recruiting victory for the Huskers, as they landed one of their top 500-mile radius prospects with over 10 months left until signing day.

College Comparison:
Florida State cornerback Marquez White

Pro Comparison: Former Ravens cornerback Cary Williams

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