Local phenom Lamar Goods will make his presence felt in the U.S. college football scene.
He will play for the Florida Gators college football team in the NCAA.
Goods becomes the first football player from Fort McMurray to join a so-called “Power-5 conference” team.
Kevin Garbuio teaches vocational education at Father Mercredi High School and coaches football.
He recalled his first meeting with Goods, who was in 7th grade at the time.
“My first year in Fort McMurray, I got involved with the football program. We had this giant kid playing football for us on the bantam team: He was six feet tall, well over 200 pounds, but could move very well. I remember saying ‘This kid is going to be pretty special’.”
Now standing 6’4″ tall and 290 pounds and playing defensive lineman, scouts rated Goods a Division-1 four-star prospect.
Goods received offers from top sports universities such as Kentucky, Georgia, and Michigan State.
Although he verbally committed to play in Kentucky earlier in the year, Goods declined and opted for Florida.
Garbuio said for his size, Lamar Goods is an exceptional athlete.
“He’s fast, he uses his hands well, he uses his feet well, and he’s always trying to make plays. He’s a talented player as well, but his work ethic is something that he built: Waking up at five a.m., going to the gym, losing all that weight was all him working hard and taking everything seriously.”
Off the field, he added Goods’ is also a charismatic leader.
Garbuio said Goods helps young people with special needs, and with growing Special Olympics programs.
“Lamar is one of the biggest advocates for inclusion. He’s always looking to help people and meets with the kids and works with them. He’s always nice; he treats every single person the same. It doesn’t matter if it’s the principal of the school, or a kid in grade seven.”
Goods officially signed with Florida on Dec. 18, 2019.
On his Twitter account, he said it was one of the happiest days of his life.
Currently, Goods is a transfer student playing high school football for St. Thomas More in Oakdale, CT.
Garbuio said kids can learn a lot from Lamar Goods as dedication, determination, and desire are applicable life traits.
“He was in my classroom in grade 11 getting phone calls from coaches. They knew who he was, when he was in Fort McMurray, one of the most northern regions for playing football in the world. You don’t have to pay for a scouting service to [be] found. If you’re good enough, people will find you.”
Garbuio said the Fort McMurray Catholic School Division (FMCSD) football program shows promise.
Their off-season workouts have 30 players from the Saints team.
Also, the bantam Knights squad will graduate 18 players to join the senior team after finishing second in the Edmonton-based league.
Garbuio said the program is in a sweet spot for talent and looks forward to next year.
Goods will hold a second signing ceremony at his alma mater, Father Mercredi High School on Dec. 30, 2019, at 2 p.m.