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Did Syracuse Pick Up Do-Everything RB/LB Ken Goins With Tulane Win?

The Baltimore Sun

When Syracuse beat Tulane Saturday night, it may have meant more than just another win towards bowl eligibility. The game may have determined where 3-star RB Ken Goins decided to play his college ball. Ironically, the Orange and Green Wave are at the top of his list, and the 5’10”, 215 lb power back out of Maryland joked with The Fizz that the winner may be where he chooses come signing day. Thank goodness Ross Krautman hit that field goal.

We caught up with Goins before the game at the Superdome and even prior to the win Syracuse seemed to have a slight advantage.

“I think right now Syracuse (is number 1), because they have talked to me the most. So I would have to say them.”

He plays both ways as well, and the senior is considered THE best pass rusher in Maryland by CBS Sports & NCSA recruiting guru Tom Lemming. The versatile tailback also plays as a hybrid linebacker and defensive end as one of the leaders for Gilman High School. The Greyhounds are a power and climbed in the national rankings to #19. At just 5’ 10”, how can the diminutive Goins make an impact coming off the edge? Assistant head coach Hank Russell said not to overlook his toughness.

“He’s extremely quick off the ball, and has great acceleration. He is an extremely physical player, and when he hits you, you’ll know it. He’s elusive and gets around blocks, and he can speed and power rush you, because he has a bunch of different moves he uses very well.”

Goins says his speed to flat out burn offensive tackles is what has made him so successful. He actually plays a lot more on defense at Gilman, despite being recruited as a RB. Opponents sometimes overlook him due to his size, but he just uses that nonsense as fuel to motivate himself.

“I use it to my advantage because most people think because I’m short, that I might not be as strong, but I have to show them I may be even stronger. I just have the heart and will to do what I have to do. I work hard and give everything I can. ”

Goins has talked extensively with SU’s Rob Moore, and has already stirred up a great relationship. Even though Ken wishes he could grab some more carries at Gilman, the only thing he cares about is helping his team win – regardless of which side of the ball he plays. If you weren’t already impressed by this kid’s determination and resolve, he may quite be the most levelheaded recruit Syracuse has its eyes on.

“It really doesn’t matter, I’ll play on either side of the ball. I don’t prefer a position; I just play wherever they need me to play. I want to do what the coaches want.”

That fantastic attitude could definitely net him some major minutes next year as a freshman on the Hill; and wouldn’t Ken love running behind a veteran o-line that hopefully grows under Marrone’s expertise. Goins will wait to decide between his three top schools – SU, Tulane, Navy – until after he makes his official Syracuse visit when the Orange hosts Pittsburgh in December. Although Vanderbilt, Pitt and Georgia Tech have now reportedly offered. He also plans to come up to the Dome in two weeks for the West Virginia game. Two visits to CNY? Let’s just say he’s familiarizing himself with the landscape on campus. But would he be playing LB or RB? Russell believes he can do both.

“He’s one of the best defensive players in (Maryland) for sure. He’s a little short, but he is extremely physical kid and an explosive athlete. I think he definitely can play outside linebacker at the next level, and even running back, too.”

And don’t think he hasn’t been keeping up with his Syracuse news. Now that SU will be a full time member in the ACC conference, he can’t wait to face some of the league’s top competition.

“Yes, it really does (make Syracuse much more attractive). A lot of people from my school went to ACC schools, and it would be pretty cool to play against them.”

Well Dr. Gross, if you’re keeping score, chalk that one up as another win for you. If you realign, they will come. Not only a stellar athlete, who runs indoor and outdoor track as well, Ken is also a phenomenal student, who plans on majoring in mechanical engineering. Goins is definitely the total package: well-rounded, intelligent and bursting with potential. So, while Syracuse fans may be frustrated with how sluggish Syracuse’s win last weekend felt, it might have delivered a victory beyond the standings.

Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald

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