09/05/13 — Goodman embraces role as backfield starter

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Goodman embraces role as backfield starter

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 5, 2013 1:47 PM

Daron Goodman patiently waited, watched and learned.

He's made the most of his first three years in Calypso by gaining valuable knowledge from Devin Oliver, Julio Mora and Tyler Royal. The trio logged a majority of the carries and piled up more than 4,400 yards in North Duplin's option offense over the last few years.

The Rebels averaged six wins a season with at least one of those three weapons in the backfield.

"Last year it was Tyler having to provide us with explosive plays and he would do it coming off his reads," Rebels' head coach Hugh Martin said. "Now they're coming off the dives with (Daron.) Julio was going to give you those powerful yards and Daron has the potential to make some long breaks, too."

Goodman rarely carried the ball during his first three seasons. He had just 100 total rushing attempts on the varsity team as a sophomore and junior.

Instead of sulking, he soaked up as much information as he could. He made the most of the rushing attempts he did get and he dedicated himself to the weight room this off-season.

Goodman even earned Royal's No. 31 jersey.

"It was hard sitting behind those guys, but now that I've got my chance, I do what I can," Goodman said. "I learned that the weight room is very important. Watching Devin, I learned to read my blocks and make my cuts at the right time. We're similar because we like to run hard and make great plays.

"He was a great person to learn from and I took that from him. Tyler graduated and he wanted me to carry on the legacy of this jersey."

Goodman is living out the phrase "good things come to those who wait." He's rushed for 392 yards and four touchdowns in North Duplin's first two games, including 208 yards and two TDs in a 28-0 win over Pinetown Northside last week. Goodman had a 95-yard touchdown run.

The Rebels have tallied 660 yards on the ground and average more than six yards per carry behind a rebuilt offensive line. Martin and his coaching stuff have tried multiple combinations up front and have found a group that seems to be working.

"We've had some good linemen," Martin said. "This group, they're all five new. None of them started up there last year. We've been trying different combinations from early August through now, trying to settle on the ones we wanted.

"(Friday) night I felt like we grew up a lot."