While quarterback might be the most important battle of the camp, running back is one of the most unknown. As of right now the Tigers have just two scholarship running backs with any experience on the roster: John Emery and Ty Davis-Price. Both have flashed, neither have finished. With the departure of Tre Bradford, the opportunity for a newcomer to step in has only increased.
One of those newcomers who could make an impact is Armoni Goodwin.
Goodwin was one of the last players to sign with the Tigers, only making his commitment official around the first national signing day. Coming out of Trussville, Alabama, Goodwin was a longtime Auburn commit, having given his pledge to the other Tigers back in 2019 but decommitted after Gus Malzahn was fired. After a strong push from Orgeron and Kevin Faulk, Goodwin opted to join the purple and gold.
Despite missing most of his junior season due to a knee injury, Goodwin was able to finish his high school career as a top-100 national prospect according to the 247 composite, and No. 7 running back in the country.
Scouting report by 247’s Gabe Brooks
“Compact back who’s undersized from a height standpoint but owns good bulk and a stout build relative to listed size. Junior year in 2019 cut short three games in by significant knee injury (ACL, MCL). Bounced back as a senior in 2020. Flashed impressive burst and acceleration. Shows consistent top-end speed to hit the long ball, supported by verified sub-11.00 100 speed. Hits the hole hard. Difficult to find in traffic because of low center of gravity, and finishes runs thanks to that leverage. Naturally low pad level also fosters above-average balance. Deftly slips through creases too small for big backs. Dangerous cutback runner. Short-limbed with an unorthodox gait so top end at times may not reflect verified speed. Lacks desired pass-catching reps. Physical ceiling is limited. Speedy hole-puncher with higher workload capability than you may expect relative to listed size. Projects to high-major level with long-term early-round NFL Draft potential.”
What’s clear is that Goodwin is going to get a shot at playing early. If for no other reason than both veterans not having truly run away with the position. Goodwin really knows how to play to his body type. He is not the biggest but he knows how that can play to his advantage. Then in the open field, forget about it.
If there is reason for pause it is his supposed lack of ability in the passing game. Those are skills that can be taught but we know that if this offense is going to look more like the 2019 version, the running back will have to be a threat in the passing game.
Still, if he is as explosive as advertised, it would be wise to get him some regular snaps, even if it is just as a package or on special teams potentially.
High End: Blows up as a freshman and spends three seasons as LSU’s primary running back.
Low end: Career special teams and rotational player
Realistic: Spends first two seasons as a rotational back before taking over as the primary back as an upperclassman.