Do you remember your first varsity start and how was it?
“My first varsity start was my sophomore year in our preseason scrimmage against North Oconee. I was pretty nervous but as the game progressed I got the feel for the game and realized I was prepared and that year one of my older brothers was playing in the secondary with me so he kept me calm and collected and by the end of the game I got my first interception on the varsity team.”
Have you played DB/S your entire life and what made you want to play DB/S?
“When I was younger I played linebacker which helped me become more physical and as I got older I became faster and taller rather than bigger muscularly so I was more of a wide receiver, but coming to play at St. Pius I knew we didn’t pass the ball much so being in the Pius middle school football program I learned the Wing T and played Quarterback as well as DB 5th-9th grade and then 10th grade I began to play running back. Ever since I was 6 I played Free Safety but the opportunity for me to play as a sophomore came as playing corner and I feel in the long run it has made me a more versatile DB as well as a more marketable player.”
What is your best asset as a DB/S? How important is communication in the secondary and how do you make sure everyone is on the same page?
“I feel my best assets are my zone coverage and my ball skills. It’s important to communicate in the secondary because football today has become more of what my defensive coordinator at my high school calls “basketball on grass” which means it’s just a lot of passing so being the last line of defense on a defense the secondary must communicate to keep everything underneath us and can’t allow bust in coverage that will result in long receptions or touchdowns. If a defense can keep a team to gains of 3, 3, and 3 on the first three downs that leaves the offense with a 4th and 1 decision and in most cases that is a punt and that helps build a swagger about a defense to really on late in games. The best way to keep everyone on the same page is to echo the calls with projecting your voice and making eye contact and using signals.”
Who is the most influential person in your life?
“My mom. I’m a big mama’s boy she’s the rock of my family we call her Queen Deb. “
How many brothers and sisters, what ages and do they play sports?
“I have two brothers, both played football at Central DeKalb for rec ball , then went to St. Pius X, and my older brother who is 21 is the starting middle linebacker for the University of South Carolina and my other brother Julian who is 18 is an engineering major at Tennessee State.”
Parents name and did they play sports in college?
“My mother’s name is Deborah Holloman-Gooding and my step fathers name is Brad Gooding and he played football at North Carolina.”
Do you do any work in the community?
“At St. Pius every year we are required to do five works of mercy which are public works and volunteering. As a team we are given opportunities to do team projects. One that we did in August was panting with the men at the Atlanta Mission. In the summer I help with the middle school football camp and even though I go to a catholic school I am active in my Methodist church and my mother is big on making sure we make in to church every Sunday morning, which during football season is hard. We are out of town for my older brother games most weekends September through December.
What colleges have shown interest in you/offered you?
“I have no offers at this point but Colorado State, Purdue and Middle Tennessee State have shown interest.”
What do you want to study in school?
“I study Law or medicine possibly even psychology because they are jobs that will always be needed. People will always have disputes and have problems and there will always be sickness and illness so I’d like a job with security and that will be stable to help me live the lifestyle I choose.”
What has been your best football memory?
“My greatest football memory was last year in the Semifinals at home when we came from behind with 21 unanswered points against Woodward to make it to the State Championship.”
Gain any accolades? Did you attend any camps this off season?
“Last year I made the All-Region Team. I attended the Wake Forrest camp.”
Play any sports besides football?
“I used to play baseball. When I was younger I was a lot better at baseball than football but now in the off season I focus more on getting better resting my body and getting my grades in the position where if football doesn’t work out for me I will get a good degree from a good school.”
Outside of playing sports, what would you want to do for a living?
“Become a Lawyer or an MD or a Psychologist.”
What is a fact about you many people that don’t know you, wouldn’t be able to guess?
“I like to cook and I don’t like to go out I’d much rather sit at home and sleep and I have a fear of wiener dogs or dachshunds or whatever they are called. We just don’t get along.”