Goldman comes full circle

Eddie Goldman's recruitment ended like it began.

The five-star defensive tackle from Washington (D.C.) Friendship finally committed to Florida State, five months after he raved about his first official visit to Tallahassee.

"It was where I want to be," the nation's top overall prospect said. "If I would have went anywhere else I wouldn't have been happy."

Goldman and his family developed a tight bond with Florida State defensive line coach Odell Haggins. That was a strong factor in Goldman's decision.

"Can't go wrong with that," Goldman said.

That September visit to Tallahassee was a factor, but not why one might think. Goldman said frank conversations with Seminoles players educated him about the school.

Yet despite Florida State's persistent presence in Goldman's recruitment, Alabama made a strong push. Goldman said he was planning on signing with the Crimson Tide as late as last week.

"It was pretty close," the nation's top defensive tackle said. "I thought I was going to Alabama ... I thought about it hard."

Goldman wasn't the only signee from Friendship on Wednesday. Actually, he was just one of 18, along with four-star athlete Albert Reid, who signed with Maryland after committing to the Terrapins last month.

"It says we're doing some things correctly," head coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim said. "I'm big on self evaluation, so I always want to feel like we're progressing. Our program is progressing in the right fashion, not only that we're improving on the field but that inner city D.C., it's important for these kids to obtain a college degree."

The impact of Goldman on the program should be felt for years.

"Definitely," Abdul-Rahim said. "You can always point back to a kid like Eddie and really say that our kids can achieve at that level. It can happen again. Who's to say it doesn't? It's a little easier for them to find the next Eddie, because they know they're going to come back to our school."

Now Friendship athletes, most notably sophomore cornerback sensation Jalen Tabor, will know how to get to Tallahassee, as well. Goldman knows the way.

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.