After a while, there’s not much different about each of the five schools that Friendship Collegiate lineman Eddie Goldman will make official visits to this season. They’re all elite Football Bowl Subdivision teams with top coaches and facilities.
So to Goldman’s finely-tuned eye, he searches for the little things in between and trusts his gut. During his trip to Auburn for the Tigers’ game against Alabama over the weekend, Goldman, one of the nation’s most coveted recruits, did just.
“He understands and knows that everybody is going to be on their best behavior and put on their best clothes,” said Goldman’s father, Eddie Muhammad. “He’s just looking for subtleties and differences.”
Goldman, a 6-foot-4, 315-pound lineman whose trip to Auburn was his third official visit to a school, enjoyed the visit, the atmosphere and the intensity of the rivalry between both schools, Muhammad said. “The whole game experience, it was just incredible,” he said.
Muhammad said he was particularly impressed with Auburn’s coaching staff, including assistant coach Tommy Thigpen, who is Goldman’s recruiter, and assistant head coach Tommy Trooper.
“You feel like it’s part of the family,” Muhammad said. “It is a business trip, don’t get me wrong, but it feels like a family. It felt like much more of a warm reception. Gene Chizik is a straight shooter and telling you how it is . . . You can't say enough positive things about the coaching staff.”
Goldman, who returned from the trip on Monday, had already visited Auburn on an unofficial visit during the offseason. The senior’s first official visit was a trip to Florida State on Sept. 17 to watch the Seminoles’ game against Oklahoma. He took an official visit to Tuscaloosa for the Alabama-LSU game on Nov. 5.
Alabama, Auburn and Florida are among Goldman’s list of seven finalists, along with California, Clemson, Maryland and Miami.
California, Clemson and Miami are in the mix for Goldman’s final two official visits. NCAA rules allow recruits to take five officials visits.