UCLA freshman safety Tahaan Goodman is learning the lesson that all freshmen not named Johnny Manziel typically learn when they hit the college level: He’s not the best player on the field anymore.
Goodman, an prep All-American out of Rancho Cucamonga High, was used to being one of the fastest, most physical and most skilled players each time he took the field. But that was in high school, and he’s now on the same grass as Heisman Trophy candidates.
His frustration with the transition led him to do what many in his generation to do and took to twitter to vent his frustration for his lack of playing time.
The tweet has since been deleted, but read:
@TGoodD1 I guess I aint good enough and havnt been working hard enough to touch the field
Goodman, who has 1,051 followers on Twitter, had no idea the tweet would garner any attention from the media or fans.
“It was blowing up a lot on Twitter and I didn’t really mean it to be anything negative towards the team,” Goodman said. “I don’t really use Twitter that much.”
Goodman admittedly said the transition from high school to college has caused some initial frustration in the opening weeks of the season. One of the most highly-touted recruits in coach Jim Mora’s first recruiting class, Goodman expected to come in and win a starting job right away. During the San Bernardino training camp, he said that his plan is to start for three seasons and then go pro.
But sometimes things don’t quite go the way you planned.
“It’s a humbling experience,” said quarterback and co-captain Brett Hundley. “You come from being the top athlete to playing in college where everybody came from being the top athlete. Not everything will be where you wanted to be.”
The mistake was recognized instantly. Goodman texted Mora in order to remedy the situation. He also had a talk with some of his teammates that he felt encouraged by.
“I think that I know these guys well enough to know when somebody is being malicious someone is being selfish or someone is just simply being emotion or making a mistake,” Mora said. “It wasn’t five minutes after he posted that that he texted me and said, ‘Coach, I want you to know what I meant.'”
Monitoring athletes on social media is becoming increasingly more important for coaches.
Look no further than Manziel for examples of tweets that have made headlines.
“It’s not just Twitter, it’s Facebook, it’s being out in the community and representing UCLA,” Mora said. “They’re young adults, they’re maturing, they still have a lot of lessons to be learned.”