Thank Canada for Kentucky’s newest football commitment.
Lamar Goods, a 6-foot-3, 325-pound junior defensive tackle out of St. Thomas More — a prep school in Oakdale, Conn. — committed to UK on Monday. Goods is originally from Fort McMurray, Canada, where he played football at Father Patrick Mercredi before enrolling at St. Thomas More last fall.
Kevin Garbuio, Goods’ head coach at Father Patrick Mercredi, broke the news about Goods’ commitment with a post congratulating his decision on Twitter. Goods later posted his own statement confirming the commitment later Monday.
“I’m really happy with where they’re going as a program and the school in general,” Goods told the Herald-Leader. “I feel like they’re heading in the right direction. ... It’s just a wonderful staff. They have really beautiful personalities, I’ve found. It felt really right being there.”
Rivals.com rates Goods as a four-star prospect and has him ranked as its 201st overall player in the class of 2020. He’s the 13th-best player at his position and the second-best recruit in Connecticut, according to the site.
Goods said he wasn’t familiar with many NCAA programs other than Clemson before visiting the States last year, when his recruitment took off. Tennessee was first to offer, in May, and that was soon followed by offers from Florida, Georgia, Michigan State and West Virginia among many others
“You probably won’t hear too many head coaches say this about their football program, but Lamar outgrew us,” Garbuio said. “We’re tier-three Alberta football, a school population below 750 students.”
Goods at one time weighed almost 400 pounds (“He was a big kid growing up. A big kid,” Garbuio said.). He got down to 285 pounds in ninth grade and made Team Canada’s U18 team as a 16-year-old. He was part of the team that defeated a squad of U.S. players, 44-26, last January; he intercepted a two-point conversion in that game.
“We knew he was talented from the outset. He ran the 100 meters for us in track,” Garbuio said. “We always knew he was special. Even when he was almost 400 pounds he was still flying around the field. He was almost like a cheat code.”
Goods played in a local men’s league when he was in eighth grade. There was a moment when Garbuio realized he could be special.
“He does a rip move on this 25-year-old, just this simple rip move,” Garbuio said, starting to laugh. “I shouldn’t laugh at this, but he dislocates the guy’s shoulder. And the guy’s like, ‘Oh, man,’ and I was like ‘Oh, my goodness.’ Usually you’re telling the adults, ‘Hey, don’t try to be a jerk just because he’s the biggest grade eight you’ve ever seen.’ And instead it’s like, ‘Hey Lamar, take it easier on the adults.’”
Jeff Moore, the head coach at St. Thomas More, said Goods averaged 0.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss and three total tackles per game as a nose tackle last season for the Chancellors. He also recorded a safety.
“He’s a moose,” Moore said. “ ... He’s obviously a very special player but he’s a good kid as well.”
Goods joins Richie Leonard — a three-star lineman out of Florida — as the Cats’ only 2020 commitments. UK expects to take about 15-17 scholarship players as part of its next recruiting class.
Fort McMurray is located in the northeast region of Alberta, a Canadian province that borders Montana to the south. Goods is one of six Canadians currently on St. Thomas More’s roster; Kenny Mestidor, a 6-3, 240-pound defensive end, is another Chancellors junior with an offer from the Wildcats.
The transition from Canadian football to American football went smoothly for Goods.
“He’s got a pretty high football IQ and he plays extremely hard every single game,” Moore said. “He’s a high-motor kid. He’s got the size of 6-3, 325, but he moves like a kid who weighs 250 pounds. That’s what’s special about him. He’s got great leverage, he can bend extremely well and he moves incredibly well in short space.”
It’s still a long way until signing day. Is Goods’ commitment likely to withstand continuing recruiting attention from elsewhere? Garbuio said finding a level of comfort is important for Goods.
“He’s one of those guys who just, if he feels good, he feels something, he trusts his gut and so far he’s been right with that,” Garbuio said. “He had a good feeling with Coach Moore and that obviously paid off huge for him, and now he has it with Coach (Mark) Stoops. I’d take him at his word.”