Florida State's remarkable run over the past three seasons has been fueled in part by the contributions of several of head coach Jimbo Fisher's first full recruiting classes. Now it's time for those underclassmen to decide whether their futures lie in Tallahassee for another year or in the NFL, and it seems an increasing number is opting for the latter.
Defensive tackle Eddie Goldman appears to be the latest to leave the flock -- he intends to apply for early entry into the 2015 NFL Draft, according to a statement released by the school.
"Eddie was a tremendous leader, student-athlete and, most importantly, a tremendous person for FSU," head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "I can't thank him enough for his contributions over the last three years on the field and for his leadership by example. I expect Eddie to have a tremendous professional career and I'm very excited for him and his family."
Goldman (6-foot-4, 315 pounds) was a highly recruited five-star prospect out of high school and contributed as a backup early on at Florida State behind Timmy Jernigan, now of the Baltimore Ravens. Goldman really started to take off last year as the Seminoles turned into one of the most dominating defenses in college football, and his play this season led to First-Team All-ACC honors.
At times dominant against opposing offensive lines, Goldman is widely viewed as a potential star at the next level with his strength, length and athleticism despite having the prototypical weight of an NFL defensive linemen. While there were times when he disappeared -- he failed to show up in the box score and on the field against Oregon in the Rose Bowl -- Goldman still flashed the ability to take over games when Florida State needed him to.
Goldman recorded 35 tackles, eight for a loss and led the team in sacks with four in 2014.
The junior is the fifth underclassmen at Florida State to announce he intends to test the NFL waters, joining quarterback Jameis Winston; defensive backs P.J. Williams and Ronald Darby; and the player Goldman most often lined up with, defensive end Mario Edwards Jr.
The deadline for underclassmen to officially announce their intention to apply for eligibility for the 2015 NFL Draft is on Jan. 15.