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Cam Goode went to St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.) High School head football coach Joe Casamento’s office Wednesday after school, like he’d been told.
What happened after that might have been blurred a bit by excitement, but this is how the 2018 defensive tackle remembers it.
Casamento: “Cam, you got an offer from Michigan State.”
Goode: “Coach, are you joking?”
Casamento: “Do I look like I’m a person that jokes?”
With that, Goode took off outside and ran around telling his friends before they headed home. He headed back inside and ran around the whole school to find anyone he had missed. Then he called his mom and dad, who were just as surprised.
“They said the same thing: ‘Are you joking?’ ” Goode recalled. “And I’m like, ‘No I am not.’ ”
— CamBamBiggalo™ (@_YooCammm) December 1, 2016
It was that kind of day for Goode. The 5-foot-11, 305-pound junior had Boston College, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest on his offer list, but this was different. He hadn’t heard from Michigan State before the offer, and this was one he never expected to get after this season.
Goode had played well, but he had battled through injuries while playing both sides of the ball. He didn’t get to focus solely on playing defensive tackle like he will as a senior, and he classified his play as good, but not great.
“Michigan State, that’s a dream offer,” Goode said. “For me, it’s been a dream to play for a Big Ten team, especially like Michigan State. Last year, I was in love with Michigan State. I still am in love with Michigan State. I’m looking forward to this opportunity, and I cannot wait to get up there this spring.”
You won’t find many 5-11 defensive tackles at the Big Ten level, but Goode makes up for that with his lateral quickness and his 4.9-second 40-yard dash. When he talked to Michigan State defensive analyst Matt Adolph, he talked about visiting and was compared to a legendary defensive lineman. Adolph called him “baby Warren Sapp.”
Goode has a more contemporary player in mind after whom to model his game: the Rams’ Aaron Donald. He thinks of Donald as “an animal” on the field who went under recruited coming out of high school considering his talent.
“Getting this offer opened up doors,” Goode said. “I’ve got the opportunity. Now I’ve just got to play like Aaron Donald.”
In looking at his college options, education will be the first priority for Goode. He hopes to potentially double major in sports management and astronomy or some related science major.
Second is location. Goode “can’t go to a place that’s just in the middle of nowhere.” He wants to choose a school that will be allow his parents to get out and see him.
And third is the possibility of early playing time as well as his relationship with the coaches. Goode has Big Ten dreams, and the Michigan State offer has brought him closer to realizing them. He has also picked up interest from Iowa and Maryland.
More offers will come, he hopes, when he has the chance to get healthy and specialize on the defensive line. He said he already thrives down the stretch in games — and that he will only get better.
“When it got to that fourth quarter and it’s a real close game, it was like, ‘All right, Cam’s about to show out,’ ” he said. “And I did. And I don’t know how I did, but I pushed myself to do it. Just imagining myself going on one side of the ball, it’s going to be crazy.”
Michigan State targets visit Maryland
Just like it probably will be for Goode, Maryland will challenge Michigan State for two of its top 2017 targets, both of whom officially visited the Terrapins over the weekend.
The particularly big one (in size and importance) is 4-star Flint (Mich.) Southwestern defensive lineman Deron Irving-Bey. Michigan and Michigan State have seemed to have the upper hand for a while, but Maryland and Tennessee will be major players in the race for his commitment.
— D.Bey #️⃣5️⃣2️⃣ (@FatGlizzy__) December 2, 2016
Irving-Bey has not yet taken a Michigan State official visit, though he has taken multiple unofficial trips. The Spartans hope he would bolster a young defensive line and compete for early minutes.
The Terps also brought in 3-star safety Naytron Culpepper for a visit. The Miami native seems like somewhat of a longshot considering how South Carolina has long been a heavy contender and Maryland has significantly upped its interest in recent months.
— Nate (@Begreat_Nate) December 4, 2016
Culpepper plans to take an official visit to Michigan State over the weekend of Jan. 13, per 247Sports’ Ryan Bartow.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.