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Former ‘The Voice’ contestant pleads with eighth-grade recruit to spurn Alabama

Jun 28, 2018

  • Tom VanHaarenESPN Staff Writer
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    • ESPN staff writer
    • Joined ESPN in 2011
    • Graduated from Central Michigan

Kiyaunta Goodwin hasn’t even made it to high school yet, but he already has some of the biggest college football programs trying to court him. The 6-foot-7, 361-pound eighth-grader has offers from Alabama, Florida State, Georgia and a few other powerhouse programs that are trying to sway him their way.

The 14-year-old mammoth football prospect from Kentucky has already garnered national attention for his size and stature, so much so that he is now being courted to stay away from certain programs. Angie Keilhauer, a former contestant on “The Voice,” sang a song on Nashville radio, pleading that Goodwin not pick Alabama.

.@AngieKeilhauer‘s begging @K_Goodwin2022 NOT to go to @AlabamaFTBL! 😂 #10MinuteTunepic.twitter.com/tli5i3pVhp

— Ty, Kelly & Chuck (@TyKellyandChuck) June 26, 2018

Goodwin is still bright-eyed and naïve to the recruiting process, but his trainer, Chris Vaughn, says the young prospect is only scratching the surface of what he will one day be able to do on a football field and in the weight room.

“I haven’t maxed him on his squat because we’re trying not to overload his spine, but we’ve done leg press and he has hit 1,280 pounds,” Vaughn said. “We’re working on getting some weight off right now, trying to get him in the 330 range. That’s a lot of weight for a kid that young to be carrying and he doesn’t need to be that big. It’s one of those things where someone tells you this kid is big and then you see him and you say, ‘Wow, he really is as big as you said.’”

Goodwin will attend Holy Cross High School in Louisville this coming year and says he isn’t yet focused on the attention he’s getting on the football side. For now, he’s trying to do what normal 14-year-olds do: play musical instruments and build robots.

“I play the clarinet, the bass clarinet and the trombone, and I’m working on the tuba and thinking about playing the trumpet,” Goodwin said. “But I think the trumpet is too small for me. Instead of trumpet, I might go for percussion to be all over. That way I’d be able to play brass and percussion, because I want to be a conductor or play in concert band in college.”

He won’t have to decide on which college he wants to attend for a few years, so for now, he’s just staying a kid and focusing on what’s right in front of him.

“He’s about as oblivious as he can be to the whole thing in a good way,” Vaughn said. “He’s still truly a 14-year-old kid, he’s not overwhelmed by any of it and we haven’t seen any change in who he is. He’s just a really big, humble, good-hearted kid who deserves the best.”

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