GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Gators’ newest addition to the roster looks like a semi-truck and runs like a Camaro.
That’s how transfer offensive lineman Kiyaunta Goodwin’s high school coach described Goodwin when he signed with Kentucky. Florida announced Tuesday that it has officially added the 6-foot-8, 351-pound Goodwin to the roster after he visited campus last weekend.
Goodwin immediately becomes one of Florida’s most touted prospects. Goodwin, who graduated from Charleston (Ind.) High last year, was a five-star recruit ranked No. 2 for offensive tackles in the country and 13th overall in the 2022 undersigning class 247Sports.com.
Goodwin chose Florida over Louisville, the school in Goodwin’s hometown that first offered him a scholarship when he was a 6-foot-7, 370-pound eighth grader.
Goodwin played his first two seasons at local high schools in Louisville before playing his final two prep seasons at Charleston High across the Ohio River. He was the top-rated prospect in Kentucky’s 2022 undersigning class, but mostly played as a blocker on special teams. He appeared on the offensive line in two games.
Goodwin signed with Kentucky and was enrolled mid-year this past spring. He chose the Wildcats over offers from Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State and others.
“It’s very gratifying,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops told reporters on National Signing Day. “It’s a lot of hard work, many years. Coach [Vince] Marrow has spent so much time with him along with all of our staff and it really is a great asset to our program because here is a young man who could play anywhere in the United States, any college in the country would take his signature today, and the fact that we land him again says a lot about him and his loyalty to us.”
Be like Kiyaunta.
— Florida Gators Football (@GatorsFB) January 25, 2023
The match seemed to go well from both sides.
“I’m going somewhere that I’m wanted and somewhere that I can be a game changer and a difference maker.” Goodwin said then. “It’s always something I’ve wanted to do.”
But the world of college football can change quickly. A year later, Goodwin gets a second chance to make his mark, this time with the Gators, who enter 2023 without four starting offensive linemen from last year’s team.
Goodwin joins a UF offensive line that has been rebuilt since the end of last season. Goodwin is the third offensive lineman to join the program through the transfer portal, following Baylor’s Micah Mazzccua and Alabama’s Damieon George Jr.