Former Mountaineers Goode, Tandy drafted by Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Published: Monday, April 30, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 30, 2012 00:04
The West Virginia Mountaineers clinched the 2011 Big East Conference title at Raymond James Stadium December 1. After this weekend’s NFL Draft, two Mountaineers will call Raymond James Stadium home as members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both Najee Goode and Keith Tandy were drafted Saturday by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Goode was selected in the fifth round at 140th overall, while Tandy was taken later at 174th overall in the sixth round.
At linebacker, Najee Goode was the signal caller for the Mountaineer defense in 2010 and 2011. Leading the defense in tackles with 88 in 2011, Goode was the staple of the Mountaineer linebacker core. His versatility allowed him to play at all three linebacker spots in former defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel’s 3-3-5 stack.
That ability to play all over the field really helped Goode throughout the entire process. NFL scouts had him do linebacker drills, coverage drills and line drills at WVU’s Pro Day, in which he thrived.
"I think it (versatility) helps out a whole lot," Goode said. "Playing outside and inside must have been able to show them that I was doing something right. Coaches see that, and instead of paying three or four guys, they can pay one guy to do a lot of different things."
For all the preparation that goes into the draft between workouts, the combine and pro day, when draft day comes for these middle-round draftees, they really have no clue when and where they will go.
"It’s an indescribable feeling because of how you feel leading up to the draft," Goode said. "Preparing for the draft and doing everything you could do at the end of the day, it’s out of your hands."
When Goode finally got the call from the Bucs that he was drafted, he was elated, to say the least.
"Every phone call you get, you’re real jittery. Every text message you get, you’re real jittery about it," Goode said. "When I got that call from a number I didn’t recognize, my heart skipped a beat. Then when I was talking to the coaches and they told me they were going to announce my name, it made my day."
About an hour later, with pick No. 174, Tampa Bay pulled the trigger on another Mountaineer: cornerback Keith Tandy.
A three-year starter at corner for WVU, Tandy compiled 13 interceptions and 188 tackles in his college career. He was even named a second-team All-American in 2010 by Sports Illustrated.
"When they drafted my roommate and teammate Keith Tandy, that just made me even happier," Goode said.
Goode and Tandy were taken by a Bucs’ team led by former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. In Schiano’s career at Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights were 0-11 against WVU. In the 2011 game at a snowy High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, N.J., Goode and Tandy combined for 11 tackles against the Rutgers. Schiano got to see both of them first-hand.
"It helps he got a chance to see us first-hand instead of watching film," Goode said. "Watching film, you do get to see how players move or react, and you get to see their overall game. But when you’re watching or coaching, you know how situations really are compared to looking at them on a screen.
"Keith (Tandy) made some plays, and I made some big hits (against Rutgers), so that helped us."
Both former Mountaineers will be in Tampa, Fla., by Thursday for the start of mini-camp.
"I was running around like I was drafted again, because that’s one of my best friends since my freshman year," Goode said. "We came in together, we’re leaving together, and we’re going to the same place together. Football causes those relationships, and it’ll help me out to go together with a great player like Keith (Tandy)."