Ardmore, Lower Merion Township, PA -- Surrounded by friends, family and teammates, Lower Merion High School senior and football player Jalen Goodman today signed his national letter of intent today to attend Villanova University and play football for the Pennsylvania powerhouse.
Goodman, a two-way star for Lower Merion's varsity football team, verbally committed to attend the university back in June. The 5'11", 185-pound Goodman will be playing defensive back for the Wildcats.
Lower Merion High School football coach Evan Breisblatt said Goodman was "great to coach."
"It's not every day you get to coach a division 1 player," Breisblatt added. "His talent, determination and work ethic separates him" and makes him stand out, said Breisblatt.
Goodman chose to stay home and attend a Pennsylvania school after being heavily recruited this past May by a host of schools -- including Air Force, Army, Albany, UConn, and New Hampshire. Goodman was a standout on offense, playing wide receiver, and on defense, playing safety.
Goodman, flanked by his mother Dollores Harrell-Goodman, his grandfather Cornell Goodman, his sister Aubrey, and his fraternal twin Ian, was excited to begin the next stage of his academic and athletic career. He said he is undecided on his major but plans to pick one his sophomore year.
Academically, Goodman has been just as impressive as he was a football player at Lower Merion High.
Coming into the season, Breisblatt said Goodman "is a very good student-athlete carrying a 3.4 GPA."
Goodman had nice words for the Lower Merion High School coaches and staff that helped him through the years, citing the excellent support he received from Breisblatt as well as from his seven-on-sevens coach Eric Taylor and former LMHS head coach Brian Scopellitti.
The coaches were proud of Goodman's accomplishments, and the way he met expectations this past year. Going into the season, Breisblatt predicted big things from Goodman.
"Jalen is an explosive athlete and works hard in the weight room," said Breisblatt in a season preview. "We're expecting Jalen to be a leader on and off the field."
Responding to those expectations, Goodman became a shining example of leadership for his teammates through his play.
Lower Merion struggled to a 2-8 overall record this season, but Goodman was a definite bright spot on the roster. He pulled in 44 receptions for 522 yards, and 3 touchdowns on offense, and led the team in tackles with 61 on defense.