Shaq Goodwin, who is ranked among the top 15 college basketball prospects in the nation, says he will continue to play football as a senior at Southwest DeKalb High School.
“I’m definitely playing football,” Goodwin told the AJC. “I like playing football. I think it gives me the upper hand in basketball. It makes me stronger and more physical.”
What about college football? Well, Shaq is not so sure about that any longer.
He hasn’t made any final decisions about the two-sport thing, but told the AJC, “I know I am going to play basketball in college. I don’t know about football. I just don’t know about that.”
On the basketball court, Goodwin’s stock has risen so rapidly within the last 3-4 months that there was naturally speculation that he may give up football prior to his senior year of high school.
The 6-foot-8, 235-pounder puts the word “power” in power forward for Southwest DeKalb’s basketball team. He averaged 18 points and 10.1 rebounds this past season, and showcased his superior athleticism by dunking and rebounding over nearly anybody in sight.
ESPN ranks Goodwin as the No. 13 basketball prospect in the country, one spot ahead of Miller Grove High School forward Tony Parker, whose 40 scholarship offers include Duke and North Carolina. [Note: Parker is rated ahead of Goodwin in some of the other national rankings]
Who has offered Shaq in basketball? UGA, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Alabama, UCLA, Auburn, Florida, Marquette, Tennessee, Washington and Texas, among others. He said he’s fine with his current batch of offers but would listen if Duke, North Carolina, UConn or Syracuse called. Goodwin said he “doesn’t have a frontrunner.”
What about scholarship offers in football? The super-sized tight end said Georgia and Tennessee have let it be known he could play both football and basketball on an athletic scholarship. However, the floodgates would surely open with offers from the football powers if Goodwin made a strong declaration to play football after next season.
Shaq has as much raw athleticism and potential as any football player in Georgia. Well, except for Grayson defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche. Then again, Goodwin has been busy with basketball. His high school basketball season ended in March, yet Goodwin has been playing in all-star games or with his travel team nearly every weekend since.
Not much time to train for football.
Southwest DeKalb football coaching legend Buck Godfrey thinks Shaq’s ticket to top is in football. And that’s saying a lot when you’re consensus top 15 in the USA for basketball.
Said Godfrey: “I think if he wants to go all the way up to the highest level in a sport, football is the way. Now he’s a great, great basketball player. In my opinion, he’s a better football player. But he’s got to put the time into football to get there.”
Southwest DeKalb’s spring football practice starts next week. To be continued.
In the video below, Shaq is wearing No. 2, while his teammate and fellow 2012 prospect Jordan Price (offers from Georgia Tech, Auburn, etc.) is wearing No. 1. Chattahoochee’s No. 11 in the BLUE is Jaron Blossomgame, 2012 commitment to Clemson (Thanks to CourtCred.com for the video)
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