Tyler Goodson wants to win Doak Walker Award
Georgia native has high expectations after making first-team All-Big Ten last season
By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Iowa running back Tyler Goodson didn’t have to think long when asked after Saturday’s final spring practice if he had any individual goals for the 2021 season.
“Let’s just say I want to be the Doak Walker Award winner,” Goodson said. “That’s what I want, and I feel like the offensive line in front of me will help me get there.”
Goodson was among several Iowa players who met with the media following Saturday’s practice at Kinnick Stadium.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz also addressed the media after Saturday’s practice.
Shonn Greene is the only Hawkeye to win the Doak Walker Award, which goes to the nation’s top collegiate running back. He won the award in 2008 after rushing for a school record 1,850 yards and 20 touchdowns.
It makes sense that the 5-foot-10, 200-pound Goodson would mention the offensive line because much of his, and the team’s success will depend on the offensive line.
Outside of All-American center Tyler Linderbaum, offensive line is one of the biggest question marks for Iowa entering the 2021 season.
Mark Kallenberger retired from football, while Cole Banwart, Alaric Jackson and Coy Cronk graduated.
Kallenberger started four games last season, while Cronk started the season opener before missing the rest of the season due to an injury.
Banwart started all eight games in 2020, while Jackson started all 42 games he played in during his Iowa career at left tackle.
“I think our big challenge right now is we’ve still got work to do with all those guys,” Ferentz said. “But then we’re going to have to develop some depth. We don’t have much depth on our team period. I’m sure there’s an exception but I’m not sure where that is.”
Goodson, a native of Suwanee, Ga., said he would need at least 14 carries, plus a couple of receptions, to be able to produce enough to win the award.
Goodson was a first-team All-Big Ten selection last season after rushing for 762 yards in and seven touchdowns.
He also had 15 receptions for 152 yards.
Iowa will need similar production from Goodson this year with just one other running back, Ivory Kelly-Martin, that has meaningful game experience.
Gavin Williams and LeShon Williams are the only other running backs on Iowa’s roster on scholarship.
“I would need a good amount,” Goodson said. “But if it happens to be that I don’t get enough carries then it is what it is. I’ll be happy with what I get. I just want to do everything I can to help the team win. If that’s getting a lot of carries or not getting a lot of carries then I’m good with that.”
Ferentz praised Goodson’s work ethic throughout spring practice and said that Goodson has provided solid veteran leadership.
“He’s practiced every day with a great attitude,” Ferentz said. “He works hard. The guys that we think are really quality players, have proven themselves as quality players, they’ve had a great attitude all the way through spring.
“That sounds mundane, it sounds routine, but you don’t always see that, especially with older guys. They think it’s spring break instead of spring practice. They’ve gone out and shown the other guys this is the tempo they’re supposed to work at.”