D.I.T.R: Ja’Kaleb Goodwin

Ja’Kaleb Goodwin is a 5’8″ 155 lb Cornerback for the Hartselle Tigers in Hartselle, AL. Ja’Kaleb is a very versatile corner who has great ball skills, especially for his size. A lot of his interceptions are contested and he can jar the ball loose from receivers who are bigger than him. Ja’Kaleb is not afraid to get dirty in the running game as well. Last yer as a junior, Ja’Kaleb had 61 total tackles along with 2 tackles for loss. On top of that he had a sack, 4 interceptions, 17 passes deflected, and a fumble recovery. Ja’Kaleb wants to use this year to boost his stats even more and gain offers from the top schools in the country.

Can you tell us your name and position on the football team?

Ja’Kaleb Goodwin, Cornerback

What made you decide to play football in high school?

I have always played football since I was 3 years old. Football might be the only way to make it out of my city so I want to take it as seriously as possible.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced on the field?

Guarding taller receivers is very tough but I will always get the job done.

How do you motivate yourself when things get tough during a game?

I think about what I’ve been through and all the obstacles I’ve overcome. I have to have a short term memory as a cornerback because it is a position where a lot of mistakes happen.

What do you think sets you apart from other players on your team? 

My work ethic and leadership by example nature sets me apart from other players on my team. 

Can you talk about a moment in your football career that you’re particularly proud of?

I had back-to-back picks in less than a minute vs. Athens. Also, when we beat Cullman, one of our biggest rivals, I was very proud of my team. 

How do you handle the pressure of being an important player on the team?

I don’t equate being an important player on the team to it being pressure on myself. I just like to take my talents to help me perform to the highest level possible.

How do you balance football and your academic studies? 

After school I’ll take 30 minutes before practice to get partial schoolwork done. If I’m not able to finish, I’ll finish the rest at home or early in the morning. 

What have you learned about teamwork through playing football?

Everybody has to be on the same page and communicate. If everyone isn’t communicating during a game or practice then it will be a long day. 

Can you describe your pre-game ritual or superstitions?

I like to listen to YoungBoy and Rylo. I also text my grandad before every game so he can let me know what stats I need to get before the game starts. Finally, I always need skittles before the game starts. 

Who is your biggest inspiration or role model in the sport of football? 

Jalen Ramsey’s play style and swagger is very inspirational when watching from a distance.

How do you stay physically and mentally prepared for each game? 

Throughout the week we drink a lot of water and eat healthy. I also like to stretch and ice bathe throughout the week.

What are your goals for the future, both on and off the field?

I want to play football in college at any college. I do not have any off field plans at the moment. 

What advice would you give to young aspiring football players?

It doesn’t matter how big you are, you just have to stay motivated, work hard, and give 110 percent every time you touch the field. 

What do you hope to achieve with your football career in the future?

I want football to keep me a strong human. Football has made me a stronger person and I wish that when I’m done with football it will make me even stronger.