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Nothing rattles Eddie Goldman

BOWIE, Md. -- Chill. Cool. Laid back.

Those terms don't exactly describe most pocket-destroying, fear-inducing defensive tackles. Eddie Goldman, who is No. 2 in the ESPNU 150, is fine with that.

As a matter of fact, nothing much seems to bother Goldman even though that calm and collected attitude can bother recruiters who are trying to get a read on the nation's top defensive tackle prospect.

"They tell me that all the time that they don't know my emotions," the 6-foot-4, 310-pounder said with a slight smile shortly after Washington D.C. Friendship's 18-15 win over Baltimore Mount St. Joseph's on Thursday in the opening game of the I-95 Classic.

Even though it may frustrate college coaches, Goldman sees his relaxed approach as a positive aspect in recruiting. Why get uptight? Why let the attention affect who he is?

"I don't get too big headed," Goldman said. "I see all this as opportunity. Laid back is a pretty good attitude to have."

Goldman's stepmother, Tonya Muhammad, didn't hesitate for a second when asked where Goldman's demeanor comes from.

"He is the spitting image of his father," she said. "That's it in a nutshell. He has his father's attributes. His father is always laid back; [Eddie is] laid back."

Many college football fans are as antsy as the recruiters they cheer for as they follow Goldman's recruitment.
He said he's down to seven schools: Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, California, Miami, Florida State and Maryland. But upon closer inspection, it seems some schools may have separated themselves from the pack.

Florida State secured the first official visit from Goldman thanks to a strong connection with defensive line coach Odell Haggins. Goldman will be in Tallahassee on Sept. 17 for the Oklahoma game.

"It's going to be a fun trip," he said.

Goldman said he also plans to visit Alabama and Auburn but he's not sure when. A trip to Miami is also likely. After all of the allegations of widespread NCAA violations, Goldman wants to inspect the school up close.

"It's something I've got to see for myself," he said. "I'm still thinking about it. I think about it everyday. It's something to check out."

Friendship coach Aazaar Rahim can't say enough about his selfless five-star prospect. Casual fans might not notice, but Goldman is the center of Friendship's defense. Opposing offenses never assign him just one blocker and he often times takes up three. Sure, that adversely affects his statistics, but you won't hear Goldman complain.

"The position that Eddie plays is a tricky situation," Rahim said. "It's not the cute position like a defensive end. He could do his job the whole game and people in the stands might not even know it because he's doing what we're asking him to do and that's push the pocket and command a double team.

"So it's not that sexy position where he's going to get sacks and make plays every time. Sometimes him taking two or three people allows someone else to come free and make a play."

Friendship moves Goldman along the line on occasion showcasing his rare athletic ability. He's most often at nose guard attacking the pocket in a 3-4 alignment, but don't think he doesn't have the quickness to play away from the A-gap if Friendship's scheme calls for it.

That makes Goldman an intriguing prospect that could play nose guard in a 3-4 defense or be a defensive tackle in a 4-3 alignment in college.

"I could see him at both," Rahim said. "He's versatile enough to play the one, the three or the five [technique]. That's what makes him such a good player is that we have to keep him at nose more than he should be at nose but he could play any of those positions."

Nothing much bothers Goldman. Recruiters don't. Neither do opposing offensive linemen. But one thing did kind of bother him on Friday -- the braces he had installed on his teeth last week.

"They were hurting in the game," Goldman said with a slight grimace.

No problem. He'll deal with it like he does most everything else when he's not on the football field. Laid back.

Dave Hooker covers Southeast and Atlantic Coast recruiting. He has covered recruiting and college football for more than a decade. Email him at davehookerespn@gmail.com.