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May 29, 2012

Goodman ready for center stage at Challenge

MORE: Five-Star Challenge | Underclassmen Challenge

Dallas Jackson is the National High School Sports Analyst for Rivals. Email him your questions and comments at DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.

It was the big stage and the bright lights that created the first spark of interest.

Then when the fame and the fortune that could be attained were factored, in it was easy for Tahaan Goodman to realize what his dreams were: fashion.

The 6-foot-2 safety from Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) has the high-end industry in his sights now and a plan of action to make those dreams come true.

"I hope that I can use football to get into fashion," he said. "Like (Michael Jordan) was able to do, something like that, would be cool.

"I have been into fashion for a little bit. Stuff like that is what I am into off the field; I think it would be cool to have my own line someday or get into photography. I am taking classes for that right now and want to get a new, expensive, camera."

For Goodman, with a mega-watt smile and multiple earrings in both ears, his next stage on which to shine will be at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in Atlanta come June 22-24.

"I like to smile," he said. "I like to have fun playing football and I like to be happy.

"I like to win even more, but that too makes me happy."

The competition will not be stiffer than at the invitation-only event and Goodman welcomes the field of talented athletes.

"There will be a lot of good players out there," he said. "That should help me improve my game.

"I am looking to get a couple of interceptions and show that I can hold my own. My game has improved in the last year so I want to get out there against all those guys."

Headed to the event with Goodman will be two friends, Upland (Calif.) defensive end Joe Mathis and his defensive backfield teammate Chris Hawkins. Having a trio of talented players will help ease Goodman into the new surroundings.

"We are all friends," he said. "I think that having all three of us coming together will make it easy right away."

Goodman is hoping that his play will be as sparkling as his favorite designer, Louis Vuitton.

"My ball skills have improved," he said. "With my hard hitting, my speed, and my height I will be feeling very confident coming in.

"I have a good relationship with (Rivals.com West Coast analyst) Adam Gorney and he is excited that I am going to Atlanta, too. I want to play well."

Gorney, as well as every other member of the Rivals.com recruiting team will be in attendance and doing evaluations.

If ever there was a runway for football players, the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge would be it for Goodman.

"I have been working with my guys at B2G sports to get better in advance of this camp," he said. "I know what to expect and I am ready to go."

Mike Farrell's take

Goodman is a fast riser when it comes to rankings and evaluation, and a guy who will get a nice bump when we release the rankings next week. He's a big safety, he's very athletic and he closes so well and strong to the football that he's good at separating the receiver from the ball consistently. He will play some linebacker and some safety in Atlanta because he's strong enough to check tight ends and fast enough to handle slot receivers. He and his teammate, Chris Hawkins, will be a dangerous duo in Atlanta.

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