The Wolverine

December 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 58 of 67

DECEMBER 2022 THE WOLVERINE 59 BY EJ HOLLAND J onathan Goodwin took a unique path to the University of Michigan. After attending Lower Richland High School in Hopkins, S. C., Goodwin en- rolled at the Ohio University as a recruit without much fanfare. After one season with the Bobcats, he began exploring transfer opportunities. Moving back home and playing for the South Caro- lina Gamecocks was certainly an ap- pealing option. However, Goodwin ended up stay- ing in the Midwest and following in his brother's footsteps. Goodwin's older sibling, Harold, played for the Wol- verines from 1992-95 and served as a graduate assistant for two years follow- ing his playing career. Harold is now the assistant head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL. After a few discussions with Harold and former Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr, Jonathan was sold. "I appreciate Coach Carr," Goodwin said. "There weren't many Power Five coaches taking transfers from the Mid- American Conference. I always felt like Coach Carr took a big chance on me by allowing me to transfer to the Univer- sity of Michigan. I'm forever grateful for that. It wasn't an opportunity I was going to pass up. He changed my life by giving me that opportunity." Goodwin went on to be a key fixture along Michigan's offensive line, help- ing the Wolverines win multiple bowl games and earning second-team As- sociated Press All-America honors as a senior. "It was great to get the experience of playing in The Big House and attending such a prestigious university like the University of Michigan," Goodwin said. "Some of my favorite memories were going down to the Horseshoe and beat- ing Ohio State in 2000 as well as win- ning the Orange Bowl. Those are some things that jump out at me right away." Goodwin was selected by the New York Jets in the fifth round of the 2002 NFL Draft and had more than a decade- long career in the league. He earned a Pro Bowl invitation in 2009 and was the starting center for the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints that same season. Goodwin signed a one-year contract with the Saints five years later and re- tired as one of the most accomplished Michigan alums in the NFL. "Leaving Michigan and going to the NFL, never in a million years did I think I would be fortunate enough to play for 13 years," Goodwin said. "It felt like it flew by. Starting 13-0 with the Saints and winning the Super Bowl, it's hard to put into words. You're at the top of a mountain you've always dreamed of. I know a lot of guys haven't experienced that, so I'm grateful." Goodwin did have the opportunity to return to the Super Bowl as a member of the San Francisco 49ers in 2012. While the 49ers came up just short in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Goodwin cher- ished his time with the organization. He started every game at center for fellow Michigan Man Jim Harbaugh, who is now the head coach at their alma mater. "When he first got the job at the Uni- versity of Michigan, I had a different perspective because I think me and Braylon Edwards were the only alumni that had played for Coach Harbaugh," Goodwin said. "I was excited because I knew what his expectations were and his philosophy. It went well with a lot of the things I learned at the University of Michigan. I knew once he got time that he would have the program heading in the right direction. "I enjoyed playing for him. He's a straight-up, honest coach, and that's all you can ask for. I really appreciate my time with him. I wish we could have gotten him that Super Bowl, but he's WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Jonathan Goodwin Made The Most Of His Opportunity To Attend Michigan Goodwin earned second-team Associated Press All-America honors as a senior at Michigan. He played 13 years in the NFL, and in 2009 he earned a Pro Bowl spot and helped the Saints win Super Bowl XLIV. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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