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Call from Bengals leaves Irish’s Goodman ecstatic

Former Notre Dame and Bishop Dwenger wide receiver John Goodman figured he wasn’t going to be called Thursday night during the first round of the NFL Draft.

He hoped he would be called for Friday’s second and third rounds.

By the time the final rounds were chosen Saturday, he expected to be called, yet wasn’t.

It was on Sunday afternoon, however, while golfing with friends, when he returned a phone message to the Cincinnati Bengals.

“I went from sulking about not getting a call to extremely ecstatic and on cloud nine,” Goodman said from his well-used cellphone. “Some people think that’s not very healthy; but you know what, with the life that we live, with the road that we’re trying to go down, that’s always something that’s going to happen to you. And I’m really excited to go to the Bengals. They’re a great organization that has been on the rise for the last few years now.”

As an undrafted free agent, Goodman will report to the Bengals on May 9. And with him will be a familiar face.

Longtime friend and Bishop Dwenger and Notre Dame teammate Tyler Eifert was nabbed by the Bengals in the first round as a tight end.

“I m extremely excited to go with a friend of mine, and that’s what I wanted; I didn’t want to be on a team where I didn’t know many people,” Goodman said. “Being with one of my good friends, you can’t get any better than that. I’m going to have someone there for me, and he’s going to have someone there for him. You can’t beat that.”

Goodman, the 6-foot-3, 206-pound receiver, said he was disappointed when he wasn’t called Saturday.

A member of the Irish for four years, Goodman had 35 receptions for 474 yards and four touchdowns in his career. He worked out with Eifert and Notre Dame teammates during the Irish’s pro day in late March, when he ran a 4.59 40-yard dash and had a 34-inch vertical jump.

“I was pretty bummed,” he said of not being drafted. “I really thought I was going to (be drafted); I really thought I should have been. I don’t lack confidence in myself at all, but I thought I should have been picked over a lot of people who got picked. That may be a little selfish of me, but in the end, we’re our own business right now. My focus was to keep going, keep working out, ‘cause you can get a call at any time.”

stwarden@jg.net

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