The defensive end competition promises to be one of the major talking points throughout the Atlanta Falcons training camp and beyond. Malliciah Goodman intends to be one of—if not the—top names they’re talking about. After the recent minicamp, fellow defensive end and teammate Osi Umenyiora said Goodman is well on his way to being a “tremendous football player in this league.”
For a rookie to earn that kind of notice from a veteran like Umenyiora is no small feat, but being in the spotlight is nothing new for Goodman. During his tenure at West Florence High School, he was the number 10 defensive end in the nation according to ESPN. The South Carolina Mr. Football award finalist earned a full-ride athletic scholarship to Clemson, and he took that scholarship very seriously as far as football went.
From Co-Rookie of the Year for Clemson defensive players in 2009 to the Future Impact Player defense award in 2010 and Defensive Player of the Game in the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl, Goodman did his talking on the field for the Tigers…and the Falcons were listening. When the time came for the 2013 NFL Draft, the powers-that-be of the Falcons had already decided Goodman was worthy to compete for a spot on the roster.
With a few minicamps under his belt, Goodman knows a little bit now about what’s coming down the line. The learning curve of the Falcons’ playbook isn’t an easy one by any means, but the former West Florence High School Principal’s Honor Roll honoree is up to the task. While consistency off the field at Clemson wasn’t his strong suit, off the bench he’s making all the right moves for the Falcons. With the right direction and focus from the coaching staff, he’ll definitely be one to watch when he takes the field.