Florida State's Eddie Goldman was one of the most celebrated prospects in the 2012 recruiting class. He is starting to live up to all the hype this season.
Goldman (6-foot-4, 320 pounds), a junior from Washington, D.C., was a consensus national top-10 prospect in the 2012 class as a defensive tackle. He played sparingly as a reserve at tackle as a true freshman, then became a starting end for the Seminoles last season, finishing with 19 tackles and two sacks. He moved back inside this season and is coming off perhaps the best game of his career.
FSU plays at North Carolina State this Saturday, and Monday, during his weekly news conference, Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren called Goldman "probably the best defensive tackle in college football."
Part of Goldman's job is to simply eat up space and take on double-teams, which allows linebackers to make plays unencumbered. He performed all his tasks well this past Saturday in an overtime victory at Clemson; he finished with two tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. The forced fumble was one of the biggest plays of the game, as he stripped Tigers RB C.J. Davidson of the football at FSU's 14 late in the fourth quarter. The Seminoles then were able to run out the clock and go to overtime. On a second-and-10 play in OT, Goldman sacked Deshaun Watson for a 4-yard loss. Two plays later, when Clemson faced a fourth-and-1, penetration by Goldman forced Clemson tailback Adam Choice to change course and he was brought down for no gain, giving the ball to FSU.
"Eddie Goldman was ... wow," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said afterward. " ... That guy was dominant. That's one of the most dominant performances we've had around here. That was like that guy we had around here a year ago (eventual second-round pick Timmy Jernigan) that could really dominate inside and play with length and do some things."
NFL Media draft analyst Bucky Brooks also was mighty impressed with Goldman's performance.
"He dominated the line of scrimmage in the fourth quarter and overtime, keying the Seminoles' stingy defensive effort with the game on the line," Brooks wrote Monday. "Scouts love players that make big plays at key moments, so Goldman's profile will certainly rise in NFL circles after evaluators take a long, hard look at his dominance at the end of the Clemson game."
Goldman's versatility is appealing. He played end in a 4-3 set last season, but has the size to do so in a 3-4. He is a good athlete with some pass-rush potential. Still, he is at his best against the run.