By Allen Moff | Staff writer
Kent State wide receiver Tyshon Goode, who missed the entire season after suffering a hamstring injury during preseason camp, made the trip to Mobile along with every other player on the KSU roster. He admitted that it's been difficult watching his teammates enjoy such a successful season.
"When it first happened and we started winning games it was tough for me, but I believe in faith and that everything happens for a reason," he said. "I'm excited to be down here and sharing the experience with my teammates. But yeah, it's hard, of course I want to be out there."
Goode at first tried to rest and let the injury heal on its own, but it didn't work -- for good reason, as it turned out.
"I still really couldn't open up and run how I wanted to, so I had an MRI (about a month after the injury)," said Goode. "When the MRI came back it showed (the hamstring) came off the bone. A couple of tendons weren't attached."
Goode had surgery on Oct. 19, and plans to return to action next season.
"I'm about two months away from being fully healed," he said. "I'm meeting (team doctor William) Pakan (today) to make sure everything's on track. But it feels great."
GETTING DRI TO STAY
Kent State junior speedster Dri Archer continues to ponder his decision on whether to return for his senior season or declare himself eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft.
Archer said he will make his decision after the bowl game, in order to avoid distractions leading up to the contest.
Goode, for one, believes Archer will stay.
"Dri should come back. I didn't see any indications of him entering the draft," said Goode. "I'm pretty sure he wants to graduate. Me and him talked about that, he wanted to get his diploma. No rush."
While his teammates obviously hope he stays, Nix said they've pretty much left him alone while Archer weighs the decision.
"Dri is Dri; he's a great athlete. I'm sure if he decides to come back he'll dominate like he did, and he'll be successful if he makes the decision to leave," said Roosevelt Nix. "He's a man, and he's gotta make the best decision for himself and his family. It's obviously a big decision."
CORTEZ ADAPTS TO CHANGE
Long ago, kicker Freddy Cortez started the season by missing three of his first five field goals, including an 0-for-2 effort in game two at Kentucky, which had fans wondering if something was wrong with their record-setting kicker.
"The only game we had trouble was the Kentucky game, and during that time I was still trying to figure out my new steps," said Cortez. "I was given information by one of our coaches that I needed to change my kicking style, just to make quicker times to help our offensive line so no kicks would get blocked."
The switch was difficult for Cortez at first.
"I did my steps the same way for three years, so changing it a week before the first game was tough," said Cortez. "I did what any good teammate would do. I never said no, even though I had to struggle through it a little bit. In that Kentucky game I didn't have that swagger I usually have, but I figured it out after that."
Since then Cortez has converted 15-of-18 field goals, including his last six in a row, with all three misses coming from 40 yards or more.
"(The change) made sense, but at first I didn't want it to make sense," he said. "I was so comfortable with what I was doing. But if a coach wants to make a change, I'm not gonna say no to him."
HAYNES IN THE HOUSE
New Kent State football coach Paul Haynes attended Friday's GoDaddy.com Bowl Mayor's Luncheon at the Mobile Convention Center along with his family and a couple of former Kent State teammates, Brian Dusho and Kevin Harris. At least 35 of Haynes' KSU teammates are expected to attend the GoDaddy.com Bowl, and Haynes will be introduced to Flashes fans during a tailgate party before Sunday's game.
Haynes will also visit with members of the media on Sunday.
COACHING STAFF RUMORS
Hazell said on Friday that he expects to have his Purdue coaching staff filled when it meets for the first time on Jan. 12. While he will not confirm which members of the current Kent State staff he plans to take with him to Purdue, names getting bounced around by various sources on Friday included defensive coordinator Jon Heacock, linebackers coach Marcus Freeman, strength and conditioning coach Doug Davis, running backs coach Jafar Williams and assistant athletic director for football operations Tommy Cook.
Candidates to remain on Haynes' Kent State staff include current offensive coordinator Brian Rock and defensive line coach Brian George.