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Will Kiyaunta Goodwin’s immense potential translate into a big role in Year 1?

Goodwin will be one of the highest-graded recruits to ever play for UK. Will we see him make an immediate impact in what hopes to be a special 2022 campaign?

Kiyaunta Goodwin Dylan Ballard - Sea of Blue

When it comes to recruiting and developing NFL-quality offensive linemen, Kentucky football has secured their place on the college football map.

Their journey to being one of the best programs for producing star offensive linemen began with the late John Schlarman. The former UK offensive line coach passed away late during the 2020 season.

Since his death, Kentucky brought in Eric Wolford from South Carolina who later departed for Alabama this past offseason.

Now, the Wildcats have Zach Yenser, and the first-year o-line coach will have one of the highest recruits Kentucky has ever landed in Kiyaunta Goodwin.

Kiyaunta Goodwin

  • Position: Offensive tackle
  • Class: Freshman
  • Measurements: 6-foot-8, 351 lbs.
  • Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
  • School: Charlestown (Ind.)
  • Recruiting Rankings: He was ranked as the 38th-best prospect in the 2022 class and the sixth-best offensive tackle by 247 Sports Composite.

Goodwin, a high 5-star prospect from Indiana, chose Kentucky over Alabama, Clemson, Michigan State and Ohio State. For a good chunk of the 2022 recruiting cycle, Goodwin was a top-15 prospect, making him one of the highest-ranked recruits to ever sign with the Wildcats.

The mammoth offensive tackle actually grew up in Louisville before moving to Charlestown (IN) where he currently plays for Charlestown High School.

Here is what 247 Sports National Recruiting Analyst Allen Trieu had to say about Goodwin, which includes a future first-round pick projection, as well as a comparison to Kansas City Chiefs stud tackle Orlando Brown.

“Physical specimen who has done a fantastic job re-shaping his body. At that same time, he has worked on explosiveness and that training has gotten him moving very well at his size. Plays with physicality and intensity. Finishes his blocks. Coordinated enough on his feet to drive defenders and stay balanced. Shows he can get out of his stance quickly in pass pro. Still refining technique with his hands and punch but has all of the qualities to be a true blindside protector at the next level. Has tremendous upside and willingness to work on his body is a good sign and he needs to continue to make sure he keeps his weight manageable because he is a naturally massive person. Has the potential to be a franchise type of left tackle. There is still some rawness here, but his trajectory has gone upward.”

Another NFL comp Goodwin has gotten is

Goodwin was recently named to ESPN’s true freshman All-America team.

When Goodwin first committed to Kentucky, there was speculation that he could immediately slide in and have a big role within the Big Blue Wall this year.

Initially, Deondre Buford was viewed as the favorite to be the left tackle with Goodwin and David Wohlabaugh Jr. also vying for snaps.

However, Goodwin and Wohlabaugh have made a strong push for the job, and it now appears those two could get the bulk of the snaps, at least early on this season, while Buford could end up playing more at right tackle with Jeremy Flax likely the starter at that spot.

For now, look for Wohlabaugh to start and Goodwin to get a handful of snaps at left tackle each game and potentially earn a start later in the season. He may be behind some of the older lineman in terms of getting up to speed in the SEC, but he has the potential to become a very important piece of the Big Blue Wall as the season wears on.

With his 6-foot-8, 351-pound frame Goodwin will literally be one of the biggest people in Lexington. Fans have to be excited about having the talented young man on campus and the production that he’ll bring to the football field.

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