Curiosities cannot be ignored the first time you see Kiyaunta Goodwin. When you learn more about the 6’7″ 370-pound eighth grader, you’ll discover the football phenom is much more than an athlete with a big body and a bright future.
Goodwin burst onto the scene last summer. In-between his seventh and eighth grade years, he picked up a scholarship offer from the University of Kentucky after camping with the Cats. Just a few days later, Georgia and Louisville followed.
Now with five Division I scholarship offers, Goodwin’s lore in the South End of Louisville continues to grow before he’s set a size 18 foot in high school. Bleacher Report’s Adam Kramer came to Louisville to learn more about the big kid who has big expectations at a young age.
“I’ve been blessed to work with a lot of kids who are genetically blessed, but he’s different,” said Chris Vaughn, a former UofL football captain and Goodwin’s trainer. “He’s the 1 percent of the 1 percent. I’ve talked with coaches who have told me he’s going to be the No. 1 player in the country and the No. 1 draft pick.”
His remarkable size and strength is Paul Bunyan-like — a doctor once told his mother he could grow to be 7’10” — but that’s not what makes Goodwin the world’s most interesting eighth grader. He likes football, but he prefers art and plays the bass clarinet. His true passion is robotics, a fascination that has consumed him since he began taking apart televisions, remotes and other electronics as a child.
“Football is something I love doing, but it’s also something I want to use to get more out of life,” Goodwin says. “I could be one of the first people in my family to graduate. I want to go to college and get a degree.”
Goodwin’s wisdom and size are beyond his years. As he continues to grow into an elite college football prospect (he’s only lifted weights for three months and is already benching over 315 pounds), his legend will grow. Who knows if he could eventually end up playing for Kentucky, but I do know Goodwin will provide plenty of entertainment and intrigue to the Louisville high school football scene over the next four years.