It’s the pick the Carolina Panthers received from the Niners in exchange for next year’s first. (They used the second rounder they got from San Francisco to pick Everette Brown.) With that pick, number 111 overall, the Panthers selected Mike Goodson, RB, Texas A&M.
Once called the “future of the team” by coach Mike Sherman, Goodson left the university after his junior year under mysterious circumstances. The talented running back could possibly shift to wide receiver at the next level, but injuries and problems with the coaching staff caused the player and team to part ways quietly. No announcement was made of his decision to apply for the 2009 NFL Draft, as he just showed up on the list of players who were leaving school early in January.
At his season-ending press conference, Aggies coach Mike Sherman hardly wanted to discuss why Goodson wouldn’t be back, and why a year ago Sherman had said he wanted to build the offense around Goodson. “We wanted to, but we didn’t,” said Sherman, whose first team finished 4-8. “We tried to, but it just didn’t happen.” Sherman said in December that he didn’t expect the junior tailback to return to the Aggies for his senior season. The coach wouldn’t elaborate but said it was because of a “combination of things.”
Goodson was a finalist for the 2005 Houston Touchdown Club Offensive Player of the Year Award. The Klein High School running back was named to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine Super Team and was rated the third-best prospect in the nation by Super Prep. He was named first-team All-District 14-5A and honorable mention All-State as a senior, receiving the same honors as a running back and return specialist during his junior season.
Goodson rushed for 973 yards on only 99 carries (9.8 avg) as a senior, playing in the U.S. Army All-American Game after his final campaign. As a junior, he accounted for more than 1,800 yards, including 1,152 yards on 101 rushing attempts (11.4 avg) and 14 touchdowns. He also returned two punts (65 and 57 yards) and two kicks (96 and 86 yards) for touchdowns that season.
In 2006, Goodson enrolled at Texas A&M, where he was selected the Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year by the Austin American-Statesman. He also garnered All-Big 12 honorable mention, as he led the team in rushing with 847 yards and four touchdowns on 127 carries (6.7 avg), despite starting just one game. He also grabbed 17 passes for 113 yards (6.6 avg) in 13 contests. In the Holiday Bowl vs. California, he gained 62 yards on the ground before he was sidelined by a left knee injury.
Goodson started six of the 13 contests he appeared in during his sophomore campaign. Part of a three-member running back committee, he raced for 711 yards and four scores on 153 carries (4.6 avg). He finished second on the team with 361 yards and four touchdowns on 36 receptions (10.0 avg), proving to be more than a capable receiver when flexed out wide. However, he missed a practice before the Oklahoma game and the coaches did not let him play in the first half.
Goodson’s production continued to regress in 2008. He was limited to six carries vs. New Mexico after spraining his right knee and eventually sat out two other contests. He finished the season with 406 yards and five touchdowns on 94 carries, but gained only 74 yards and one touchdown in his last five contests. He continued to excel as a receiver, though, catching 37 passes for 386 yards (10.4 avg) and three scores.