Georgia’s No. 1 basketball prospect will play football, too

Shaq destroys another rim (AJC photo)

The 6-foot-8, 235-pound tight end destroys another basketball rim (AJC photo)

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.

Southwest DeKalb William Shaq Goodwin 2

Basketball? Football? Or both? (Photo by AJC's Michael Carvell)

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.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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 for the video)



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41 comments Add your comment


April 28th, 2011
9:28 am

First, suckas

Stick to BBALL

April 28th, 2011
9:30 am

Stick to basketball and don’t risk getting hurt in football…. 1 and done maybe?

Coach T

April 28th, 2011
9:37 am

I love Tony Parker, but did you see what Shaq did to TP in the region championship game? If you missed it, they are selling posters with pictures of it at Stonecrest Mall … … OMG! The most athletic big man I’ve seen in the city since D Favors.


April 28th, 2011
9:39 am

He’ll probably stay focused on basketball. Play one year then gone…


April 28th, 2011
9:42 am

Just another Georgia kid who will leave the state


April 28th, 2011
9:46 am

I never thought I would say this but Shaq Goodwin has finally surpassed Tony Parker (another fine player), which I thought would be impossible for anyone in Georgia. Shaq is a “lock” for the McDonald’s All-America game. He’s had a meteoric rise since December. No “one-and-done” but 2 at most. Future NBA or NFL lottery pick.


April 28th, 2011
10:02 am

The state of Georgia is absolutely loaded with prospects in the 2012 class. We’re talking two, maybe four, McDonalds all-american players.


April 28th, 2011
10:12 am

Good work Grasshopper!!! This is Recruiting news your teacher Chipson Towers will be pleased he has taught you well Grasshopper!!!


April 28th, 2011
10:19 am

sounds like a very talented young man. I’d love to see him play basketball at GaTech.

Michael Carvell

April 28th, 2011
10:26 am

I’m with Buck Godfrey. He’s great in both, but I haven’t seen many 6-8 tight ends.


April 28th, 2011
10:47 am

He’s 6-8, still growing, and the football coach thinks his future is in football? Um, yeh I think I’ll just dimiss that foolishness as blind bias. I don’t know about his game, but his body tells me basketball.


April 28th, 2011
10:47 am

Man, If one team gets both Parker and Goodwin it’s over.


April 28th, 2011
10:53 am

There are 450 players in the NBA and 1,696 players in the NFL. If you are good at both sports, odds are better going for a football career.



April 28th, 2011
11:01 am

Can make more money in hoops. Guaranteed contracts, less chance for injury, and because you’re not wearing a helmet obscuring your face there’s more chance for individual endorsements if you’re elite. Plus, if you’re so inclined, you can go pro after one college season, as opposed to three.


April 28th, 2011
11:03 am

Would be great for an addition to Football and Basketball!!! Lock him down!!!


April 28th, 2011
11:10 am

Leonard Pope is 6ft 8in

Michael Carvell

April 28th, 2011
11:10 am

@RxDawg, I’ve watched Shaq play a lot and it’s like you don’t realize he’s that tall (6-8). It’s like an optical illusion. He looks like a 6-3 guard running around out there. He has got a great body frame, 5-star athleticism and plays very physical (especially when it comes to trying to tear down the rim on every dunk). I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he plans to keep playing football in high school. But in college? IMHO he will play basketball only.


April 28th, 2011
11:13 am

Please stop this nonsense! Tony Parker is head over heels better than Shaq. Parker has the complete low post package right now, today. 3 State Championships, 2 Gold Medals with USA teams, he will play immediately on the College Level. Shaq typical Atlanta Celtics Big Man – Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, Randolph Morris, Derrick Favors – Run the Floor and Dunk – No Low Post Moves. SWD won a Region Championships due to the fact Jordan Price shot the daylights out of the ball and Shaq did not dominate Parker in 3 meetings this year. Please review the entire body of work. Good Kid, has the potential to be a great player; however please don’t compare to Parker.

SWD Pride '07

April 28th, 2011
11:26 am

Droopy74, unfortunately ESPN and other basketball experts feel differently. Let me say that I like Tony Parker. He’s a good kid, great character, very well-mannered. This is not a personal attack but an analysis of his game. He was forced to learn good post moves because he can’t jump. He has like a 10 inch vertical. He knocks puny high school kids down like bowling pins with his wideload. That’s not going to work in college or the NBA against 7 footers. I will give you this. Tony Parker is the better player right now. Shaq Goodwin is the better prospect. The sky is the limit with his potential. I hope Tony enjoys Europe or the CBA.

Jacket Man

April 28th, 2011
11:39 am

If he intentends on playing both football and basketball at the collegete level, per NCCA rules, football scholarship MUST be used, not a basketball scholarship.

Jacket Man

April 28th, 2011
11:41 am

Boy, my typing stinks today…


April 28th, 2011
11:50 am

Don’t ruin your career by attending choke university up in Athens . They are known as the chokers of college football .

gt brilliance on display

April 28th, 2011
12:27 pm

“choke university” has produced more NFL players over the last 10 years than any other SEC school. Yeah, clearly that would “ruin his career.” You, gt, are a blooming idiot.


April 28th, 2011
12:29 pm

UT had a 6′8″ TE a couple years ago, Cottam. Think he was on the Bengals IR last year.


April 28th, 2011
12:45 pm

Lenard Floyd commits to UGA GO Dawgs .

Connie Lingous

April 28th, 2011
12:45 pm

You nailed it Jacket Man – he can’t play college football if he is on a basketball scholarship – could take a football schollie and play basketball, though.


April 28th, 2011
12:48 pm

Welcome to Dawg nation Lenard Floyd Mr. Carver will have some info on the newest UGA commit .


April 28th, 2011
12:51 pm

Not a lot of BBall offers from ACC schools. I wonder how this kid’s grades are? If he is better in football, why so set on bball? hit the pro’s after a year and no schooling? Just makes you wonder a bit.


April 28th, 2011
12:56 pm

WHOA!!! The region championship game??? Tony Parker had 28pts 24rebs (in a loss) and Shaq only had 9pts. It was a true domination by Parker on all accounts. The only thing that didn’t happen was MG didn’t win the game. Watch for this matchup in 2011-12. It will be exciting to watch, but if Shaq thinks he can just shoot 3’s and dunk, then he might need to throw the pigskin around.


April 28th, 2011
12:57 pm

I hope we can get Shaq Goodwin Fox is close to a extension Jordan Adams is one to watch as well .

K Conley

April 28th, 2011
1:08 pm

@ RRTDawgs, Huge get for the Dawgs today. I have said all along that he was one of the 5 best players in the state this year and his upside is enormous. Lowndes put it out there about 3 months ago that Floyd would be a Dawg, and he was right once again.

@ bigtime, I know you saw the film on Leonard Floyd also and really liked what you saw. The kid is just a blurr making plays on his highlight reel. Thanks for letting us keep “one of the good ones home”. I hope everything is good with you and yours, and I truly feel saddened about what’s taken place in your state. Take care friend.

Geraldine Jones

April 28th, 2011
1:10 pm


Can we please get the 10 at 10 started again? I realize that would mean you actually having to do some work. Think about it because Chip made Tuesday and Thursday something to look forward to.


April 28th, 2011
1:20 pm

I agree Conley finally some good news also want to send out condolences to the people at Bama and Tuscaloosa who were hit hard by the Tornado hope Bigtime and Blackout are fine .


April 28th, 2011
2:36 pm

Growth hormones at work here. When will this be investigated?

Dawg in Malta

April 28th, 2011
2:41 pm

@gt…you’re an idiot!!!!!
how can you call UGA chokers when we’ve beat your A$$ 9 out of 10 times!!
Reggie Ball is a choker but UGA retired his jersey…gt put him on the wall of shame!!

Just sayin'

April 28th, 2011
3:54 pm

Give my boy his props… Tony’s his brother, from another mother, but he DOES NOT RANK above SHAQ on ANY poll, Mr. Carvell. (ESPN, RIVALS, SCOUT…).

you can't fix stupid

April 28th, 2011
6:35 pm

when are you morons gonna realize that posts like Gt above (@ 11:50 am) are intended SOLELY to stir the pot? Someone takes the bait EVERY time.


April 29th, 2011
11:53 am

Shaq is the overall better player. He has more tools than Parker. You got to be able to play facing the basket. You can find a 6″9 post anywhere. Shaq can play three positions with Parker limited to one.


April 29th, 2011
4:18 pm

Anyone ever hear of Tony Gonzalez???? GO DAWGS


May 3rd, 2011
2:04 pm

Shaq is very athletic and can jump high but he is not explosive when he jumps. he is not an aggresive rebounder ethier to be 6′8″ an athletic. At 6′8″ in high school 10 rebounds fall into your hands. Shaq can be a great player but needs to work on his total game. His dribble & low post game needs plenty of work. If anybody saw the game against rockdale they know what I mean. 3 points is what he had.

Basketball Guy

May 3rd, 2011
10:34 pm

shaq & jordan isnt the only guys for swd. they have a huge x factor in a point guard in kadarius. he scores and does alot of the dirty work. not to mention he scored 22 in the region championship game