IOWA CITY, Iowa - Tyler Goodson was on Iowa State’s recruiting radar when he was in high school.
Then Iowa came calling. And when Goodson saw a chance to join the Hawkeyes, he took it.
Now, with the No. 10 Hawkeyes playing at No. 9 Iowa State this week, Goodson and Iowa State running back Breece Hall, who signed with the Cyclones the same year as Goodson, are getting plenty of attention.
Which is why the details of Goodson’s recruitment came up again this week.
“They recruited me heavily, I would say,” Goodson said of the Cyclones. “Once Iowa came into the picture, and they figured out Iowa was one of my top schools, they kind of stopped showing interest in me. But that’s all I remember. I was more interested in Iowa anyway.”
Goodson committed to Iowa when he found out that Jirehl Brock, another running back who ended up signing with the Cyclones, was going to take an official visit to Iowa City.
“The crazy thing is, when I was getting recruited by Iowa, I didn’t really hear too much about Breece Hall,” Goodson said. “It was more Jirehl Brock.”
Hall, though, has stepped up as one of the best running backs in the nation. He is coming off a season in which he was a consensus All-American after leading the nation with 1,572 rushing yards. Hall had 69 yards on 23 carries in the Cyclones’ win over Northern Iowa last week.
Both running backs were just bit players the last time Iowa and Iowa State played — an 18-17 win for the Hawkeyes in 2019. Goodson had just three carries for 16 yards, while Hall had one carry for zero yards.
“I remember their defense being very physical, very aggressive,” Goodson said. “What I remember from that game was our team coming together, and kept pushing and pushing to be able to come back late in the game to get that win. That team always plays well against us, and we always play well against them.”
Goodson and Hall will play a much bigger role this time around.
“Yeah, he's just an extraordinary player,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said of Hall. “He's a really good football player and can do a lot of things that a back his size normally wouldn't be able to do, but he can do them. He's a big back. There's really not much that we've seen that he can't do. I don't know how many guys had more yards than him last year in the country, but there couldn't have been a long list of them, that's for sure.”
Ferentz said Iowa State’s offense presents different challenges beyond Hall.
“Yeah, they're experienced up front,” Ferentz said. “They know how to play. Probably anything you throw at them, they've handled before. And you include the tight ends in that group, too. That's part of their scheme. And then you throw in the fact that their quarterback (Brock Purdy) will run by design and then he can pull it out and ... so that gives you a lot of things to worry about defensively.”
Goodson thinks the Hawkeyes’ defense is up for the challenge.
“He’s a good running back, in my personal opinion,” Goodson said of Hall. “But our defense has the ability to shut them down. Our defense does a really good job of stopping the run, and stopping the pass. We’re a good defense, one of the top defenses in the country.”
It was easy to tell that Goodson was ready for Saturday.
“I’ve been looking forward to it ever since (last) season ended,” he said. “It will be exciting going over there, taking the hostility out of their crowd, taking the excitement out of their fans. Going over there to get a win.”