Derby’s Goolsby continues to attract attention from biggest BCS schools
- Derby TE DeAndre Goolsby says he’ll play for Florida
- Roundup: White scores six touchdowns for Maize
- Friday’s Wichita-area football box scores (Oct. 11)
- Fridays Top performers (Oct. 11)
- How ranked teams fared (Oct. 11)
- Carroll wins City League by hammering rival Kapaun
- Heights’ defense pitches shutout
- Southeast overpowers South with running game
- Inspired Andale blows out Wellington
- Cardinals take flight for victory over Garden Plain
- Maize South jumps on Collegiate in 24-10 win
- Derby shuts out Hutchinson for fifth straight win
- Bob Lutz: Struggling teams standouts keep plugging
- Fridays Kansas high school football scores (Oct. 11)
- Read how Week 6 football unfolded live on Twitter
- Gallery: Week 6 high school football
- Area high school football standings (Oct. 11)
Derby senior tight end DeAndre Goolsby has joined the ranks of nationally-recruited players to come out of the Wichita area in the last decade — alongside such players as Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Arthur Brown and Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown.
But as much as he’s been a talent, he’s also been a mystery — almost complete radio silence — and didn’t respond to interview requests this week.
The undisputable fact, however, is that he’s one of the most buzzed-about athletes to come along in awhile. Here’s five things to know about Goolsby as the Panthers close out the regular season and open district play next Friday against Southeast:
1. His decision
Goolsby narrowed his college choices to five schools on Aug. 25 — Arkansas, Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Kansas State — in a pretty clever manner, using an app to create a picture of him wearing his high school number — 30 — in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Ohio State and Florida jerseys while at the respective schools and standing in front of K-State’s Powercat logo.
Saturday, he’ll be in Fayetteville, Ark., to watch the Razorbacks take on South Carolina. It will be the fourth official visit for the four-star recruit in the last five weeks following trips to Oklahoma, Ohio State and Florida.
National signing day is Feb. 5, but Goolsby will likely already be on a college campus by then. He’s indicated to Derby coach Brandon Clark he wants to graduate early and enroll in college in January so he can begin learning the offensive system.
“The thing about DeAndre is that he’s pretty tight-lipped, so we don’t really have any insight into what he’s going to do,” Clark said. “When we talk, it’s more me trying to talk to him on a friendship level versus being his coach, and he hasn’t let going on his official visits affect him showing up to practice. The only thing he’s missed is film sessions on Saturday, but he and I sit down and do that on Mondays. The great thing about all of these coaches coming in is it’s given our other kids some exposure, too.”
2. His coach
Clark’s connection to the family goes back to when he was a teammate of DeAndre’s father, Dodge City native Brian Goolsby, at K-State in the late 1990s, including a time when both of them were fullbacks before Clark switched back to his natural position of wide receiver.
“We got to spend quite a bit of time together,” Clark said. “We got to know each other very well.”
Clark can also relate to being a sought-after prospect in his own regard as a versatile, All-State wide receiver for Valley Center in the mid-’90s.
“I like to tell (DeAndre) that he never had moves like mine,” Clark said, laughing. “Seriously, though, he’s a million times better than I ever was. It’s not even close.”
Clark can also give a raw assessment of what Goolsby’s upside could be.
“He’s 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds and he comes by that naturally,” Clark said. “That’s come with him really working hard in the weight room and not trying to gain weight. He could easily put on 20 pounds of muscle in a couple of months.”
Clark has also gotten creative about how to get Goolsby the ball.
“He draws attention wherever he is on the field, so for example, when he comes underneath on a route, the linebackers all have to focus on him,” Clark said. “So we’re going to use him in a lot of different places. He also plays wide receiver, running back, returns punts, returns kicks ... we just want him to touch the ball.”
3. His family
Goolsby comes from good genes — Brian also played in the Arena Football League. Former K-State safety Jarrard Milo is DeAndre’s uncle and former Wichita State basketball player L.J. Goolsby is his cousin. Brian also declined requests for an interview this week, citing the family’s busy schedule.
4. His skills
Senior quarterback Jeremy Dunham has had a front-row seat to Goolsby’s evolution as a football player.
“I think as a sophomore he realized how good he could be and he just went after it,” Dunham said. “He knew he had the size and he knew he could be great. As far as a person, he’s pretty shy unless you get to know him.”
Goolsby is already a two-time Eagle All-Metro selection and led the Panthers with 17 catches for 266 yards before Friday’s game against Hutchinson. He’s also scored six touchdowns — four receiving, one rushing and one on a punt return.
“He’s quiet most of the time, but he can also get pretty loud sometimes ... just depends on how the game is going,” Dunham said. “He’s a motivated guy ... sometimes he’ll just tell me to throw it up to him, give him some room and he’ll make the catch. And then he comes down with it. He’s big and he’s fast and he’s a playmaker.”
5. His town and team
The Panthers have lost in the Class 6A semifinals the last two seasons and were 4-1 and ranked No. 1 overall headed into Friday’s game against Hutchinson. Derby hasn’t won a state title since 1994.
It’s what’s motivating this group, and it’s a title they probably can’t win without Goolsby continuing to have big games.
“I think one thing that says a lot about (Goolsby) is that at the end of 1-on-1 drills at every practice, he wants to get the last ball,” Dunham said. “He wants to be the guy who goes up and finishes things off for the offense. Even in practice.”