Kentucky has quickly become one of the biggest brands in the sport when it comes to offensive line play. How many other offensive lines have a unit nickname that is embraced by the entire fan base?
A big reason for this improved trench play on the line has been due to a homegrown talent boom. The state of Kentucky has produced 10 blue-chip offensive line prospects since the class of 2016. In the past, the Wildcats have missed out on some of the big ones. Of the players in the top-100, only Landon Young stayed home. Jedrick Wills went to Alabama in 2017 while Walker Parks headed to Clemson in 2020.
However, the slow build has continued. Kentucky has now landed a cream of the crop prospect to headline the future of the Big Blue Wall.
Kiyaunta Goodwin checks in at No. 54 overall in the current 247 Sports Composite Rankings and appears to have all the tools in the world. The Louisville, Ky., native is currently playing his high school ball in Southern Indiana but this should be considered a monster in-state recruiting win. Score a big one for Vince Marrow.
Now it is time to head into the KSR Film Room to see what Goodwin will be bringing to the Wildcats. The prototypical left tackle prospect has size, length, power, and top-notch positional athleticism. Get excited about this one.
Power is the name of the game at the point of attack. Fundamentals and technique work allow players a chance to win reps, but eventually, brute force takes over. There is no denying the punch, leg drive, and finishing ability of Goodwin.
In both clips above, the left tackle flashes some massive strength. After a good punch, the leg drive is off the charts as Goodwin overpowers the smaller defensive players. Doing this with a 6-foot-8 frame is something to keep in mind. Goodwin does a very good job keeping a forward lean that allows the offensive tackle to dominate his competition. This is exactly what you want to see.
In the new scheme, Kentucky is going to want some offensive lineman that can move. The Wildcats will be running a heavy dose of the wide zone which requires lineman to run a track outside. This requires athleticism with a big frame and the ability to make some blocks while on a full sprint. Reach blocks will need to be executed.
In this clip, Goodwin shows the ability to run a track. After striking the defender with his right hand, Goodwin uses leg drive to remove the defender from the line of scrimmage while creating an alley for the running back on the outside run. The Wildcats will ask the mammoth tackle to get moving laterally in the new zone scheme. The blue-chipper can succeed at that.
Bend, bend, bend, bend. Very tall offensive tackles have to work on this all the time. At the next level, a lean is needed to move people off the ball but preferably it would come from the knees and not the back. Facing smaller foes, Goodwin does a very good job of winning the leverage battle.
The big guy somehow gets under the defensive player’s pads and the final result is a pancake block 12 yards down the field. This is a big-time athlete that can bend and move. There are major, major tools for Goodwin that Kentucky will be able to fine-tune at the next level.
When the big man gets his paws locked on, opposing defenders are toast.
Goodwin gets out in space, throttles down, and gets his hands on the defender. Once that happens, defensive players don’t stand much of a chance. The rep is officially over once contact is made.
The Big Blue Wall is adding another major brick and this addition is huge for a multitude of reasons. Kentucky is once again able to get into the state’s biggest city and score another recruiting win. On top of that, the Wildcats and Marrow beat the best of the best. Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State all really wanted Goodwin.
The left tackle is a can’t miss prospect and should compete for five-star status by the time this recruitment is finished. The pass protection portion of his game could turn into his biggest strength down the road. The tackle shows patience on tape to go along with arm length and tremendous punch power. All the ingredients needed to become a dominant force.
Kentucky now has the crown jewel for the 2022 haul. Having Goodwin in the fold will give the program some momentum to chase some other big fish. The star blue-chipper is a major get in many, many ways. Credit Marrow and the Kentucky staff for years of consistent, hard work to land one of the highest-rated recruits in program history. A future cornerstone of the offense at left tackle.
Kentucky has an offensive line brand combined with increased in-state talent. That can be a winning combination for the Wildcats as Mark Stoops builds his roster from the inside out.