Virginia Tech added a bruiser in the trenches to its 2021 recruiting class. Bryce Goodner announced his commitment to the Hokies. Vance Vice extended the offer Sunday, and Goodner committed on the spot.
"When I was talking to Coach Vice and he offered me, I was so thankful because Virginia Tech was my top school throughout this whole recruiting process," said Goodner about the offer. "I remember I said, 'Thank you so much for believing in me and giving me this opportunity.' He said, 'Boy, I didn't give you any opportunity, you earned that.' And that really struck me, and made me happy."
He developed a strong bond with the Tech o-line coach over his recruitment.
"He's wild, but man I love him," said Goodner. "He reminds me of a lot of coaches I've had in the way that I can cut up with him and have a great time. Talk about fishing and hunting and all of that, but when it comes down to it, I respect him and I'll be able to learn from him."
According to Goodner, Justin Fuente reviewed his film Friday night and on Saturday morning he instructed Vice to offer the scholarship. He believes his power and explosiveness stand out.
"I feel like that's what's setting me apart from everybody they're recruiting," he said. "There's kids that are bigger than me, and faster than me, but there ain't many that are stronger and quicker."
The 6-3, 294 pound Goodner has currently not been evaluated by the major recruiting services. In addition to Tech, the planned electrical engineering major held official offers from Air Force, Navy, Charlotte and Rice. While he plays right tackle for McMinn HS (Athens, TN), Tech recruited him as a center or guard. Goodner realized playing center would increase his chances of playing college football, and learning to snap has been an active work in progress over the last couple of months.
"When I first started [snapping] I was slamming myself in the nuts, I won't lie," said Goodner with a chuckle. "But now I'm starting to build up that good muscle memory, and once I learn how to read the plays, I think I'm going to be really, really good at it."
His weightroom maxes are nothing to sneeze at — 350 bench, 315 power clean, 645 back squat, and 545 front squat (he's really proud of that) — but his leap out of near-44 inches of water paints a clearer picture of his strength and athleticism.
"I first did it at my friend's house playing pool basketball," said Goodner. "And we were all fired up. My friend missed a shot and [the ball] bounced out of the pool, so I just jumped out.
"The funny thing was, none of my friends said anything about it. And then I did it at my grandma's house with my whole family, and my momma saw me do it, and she said, 'Bryce what'd you just do?' I said, 'I got out of the pool.' And she said, 'You need to put that on Twitter.' And I said, 'Why?' and she said, 'Just do it.' And you know momma's always right."
While he candidly noted he hates running, he is focused on improving his conditioning to better his endurance and consistency.
"On a good play I put somebody on their back, then I'm getting somebody else," said Goodner. "And if I can have a good play every play, for a whole game, then that's going to open so many opportunities."
He and his family visited Tech last Saturday and he left enamored with Blacksburg.
"You can tell that's a true, small college town, and I can see it really coming alive on game day," said Goodner. "I've seen them clips of people jumping around in Lane Stadium, and man it just looks cool. Everyone there loves college football, and I feel like I'd like to be a part of that."