May 2021

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9 e expectations for University of Iowa junior running back Tyler Goodson are anything but mundane. Following his team's final spring practice May 1, head coach Kirk Ferentz lumped Goodson, a third-year versatile weapon from Suwanee, Georgia, into a group of Hawkeye veterans who played well during the 15 spring practices that began March 30. He said Iowa's quality players have proven once again why they are quality players. "at sounds mundane, that sounds routine, but you don't always see that," Ferentz said. "Sometimes they think it is spring break instead of spring practice. ey have shown the other guys that this is time you are supposed to work and the other guys are chasing them." Most of the people chasing Goodson during his first two seasons at Iowa have been wearing a different color uniform. As a true freshman in 2019, Goodson was the Hawkeyes' leading rusher with 638 yards and five touchdowns. In the eight-game, pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Goodson topped Iowa with 762 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Only current running backs coach Ladell Betts has led the Hawkeyes in rushing yards in a season four times; Goodson remains on pace to duplicate that feat. Speaking of Betts, it didn't take long for the new coach, who is also the second leading rusher in Iowa history (3,686 yards), to grab Goodson's attention. "He knows the game, he played the game and he understands what a running back does," Goodson said. "Coach Betts is straight to the point. He's the real deal, he knows what he is doing. I listen to everything from him and try to implement that into my game." Gaining yards and scoring touchdowns are nice, but there are so many things Goodson wants to improve upon before returning to the field Sept. 4 when the Hawkeyes host Indiana. His goals are to put on a few pounds, study and dissect film and improve blocking and pass catching. "You will see a lot more physicality and understanding of the playbook," Goodson said. "e game has slowed down for me. You're going to see a lot of things from me, but the main thing is how physical I am in blocking and pass protection." Iowa is coming off a 6-2 season and won its final six games. e Hawkeyes were scheduled to play Missouri in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30, but that game was canceled because of a coronavirus outbreak among the Tigers. During the six-game regular season winning streak when he averaged 107 yards and a rushing touchdown per game, Goodson gained 100-or-more rushing yards against Michigan State (113), Minnesota (142), Nebraska (111) and Wisconsin (106). e last time Goodson touched the ball in a game, he took a handoff from quarterback Spencer Petras at his own 20-yard-line and didn't stop until he reached Wisconsin's end zone 80 yards later. at's the explosiveness that will make the Doak Walker Award selection committee take note. e 5-foot-10, 200-pound Goodson, who was named first-team All-Big Ten Conference as a sophomore, pointed to the Doak Walker Award (presented annually to the nation's best running back) as a goal. "Let's just say I want to be the Doak Walker Award winner," Goodson said. "I feel the offensive line in front of me will help me get there." Goodson will be content with the carries and targets that come his way. Iowa was sixth in the Big Ten in 2020, averaging 171 rushing yards, and eighth in total offense with 368.6 yards per game. "I will do anything I can to help the team win," Goodson said. en he flashed an MVP smile. "But more yards is always the plan." So are more wins.

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