DETROIT – John Goodman returned to the scene of his prime Tuesday, as the Notre Dame wide receiver assisted the football coaching staff at his alma mater, Bishop Dwenger High School.
Fighting Irish fans hope Goodman can make the most of his fifth and final season in South Bend, and a former coach believes that Goodman can – and will – do just that.
“Goody has all of the pieces that he needs,” current University of Massachusetts coach Charley Molnar said recently at the Mid-American Conference Media Day at Ford Field in Detroit. “He's tall, he's fast, (and) he's experienced.”
Molnar spent the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish, and he has seen up close the progress and potential Goodman has, even if that potential hasn't yet been fulfilled during his time at Notre Dame.
“He has above-average hands,” Molnar said. “What he just needs to do really is be consistent.”
Goodman has a great opportunity to start alongside TJ Jones and Robby Toma at the vacated position left open by the graduation of All-American Michael Floyd. During his career, Goodman has thrown for as many touchdowns (one) as he has receiving scores. So as Molnar attests, expectations are for the 6-foot-3 pass catcher to add to his career numbers of 28 receptions for 315 total yards.
“I am really confident that (Goodman) took that next step this spring,” Molnar said.
Molnar said work ethic and striving to improve were never problem areas for Goodman.
“I watched him move the meter sometimes fast and sometimes slow,” Molnar said. “But he continuously got better in my two years (at Notre Dame).”
Goodman will face competition from younger players that include juniors Luke Massa and Daniel Smith, as well as sophomore DaVaris Daniels. The receiving corps overall will be unproved, with the exception of Goodman's high school teammate Tyler Eifert, who Molnar called “the best tight end in the country last year.”
Molnar indicated that Goodman's quest to get better will really be impacted by what he has done since spring football and leading up to Saturday's first practice of training camp.
“I would imagine that (Goodman) took some steps again this spring, over the summer, and through summer camp,” Molnar said. “I think that he'll be an outstanding player this fall for Notre Dame.”