Brendan Goettel [6’ 1” 185 lbs | 2014 East Lake LB]
Final 2011 Stats: 159 total tackles (111 solo), 2 INTs, 2 Sacks, 2 FF, 1 FR, 5 PBU
As a freshman at East Lake Brendan Goettel played guard on the junior varsity offensive line. As a sophomore he led the varsity team in tackles (111 solo, 159 total) and was involved in five turnovers.
Goettel got his opportunity because of his relentless drive and hard work. East Lake coaches saw what he had to offer on the kickoff team as a freshman and wanted to try him at line backer.
“I only played defensive line once, and that was in pop warner a few years back,” the sophomore said. “I fell in love with the position; it was like a different world.”
Goettel averaged nine tackles per game through his first six; impressive numbers for a sophomore just learning the position.
In his sixth game, a 29-6 win over North Port, is when Goettel says he really felt he grasped the defense. He recorded his first interception and says that he realized he could be a cover receiver, and still be a secure tackler.
“I give a lot to my coaches; they molded me; they told me to keep my head up every time I got knocked down,” he explained. “I felt a big change versus North Port. I felt a lot quicker and a lot stronger.”
One of Goettel’s biggest weapons is that he is a student of the game. He watches film every day of the week and says that he is good at picking up on tendencies from an offense.
“I flow to the ball well, and when you watch film everyday you start to recognize things which makes it a ton easier,” he said of reading opposing offenses. “My tackles were about even; a lot of them were plugging up holes but I can flow to the ball when I have to.”
The East Lake Eagles proved a lot this season. After losing three of their first five games the team responded winning its last six and earning a spot in the playoffs where they defeated Palm Harbor University in the first round.
The Eagles hosted the Plant Panthers in round two and fell 28-21. It was in defeat; however that Goettel had his best game of the year. He had a season-high 20 tackles, 17 solo, made an interception and forced a fumble.
“It was a statement game for me. I knew a lot of scouts were there for Mike Tate. I just wanted to show myself off a bit,” Goettel explained. “Playing that caliber of a team shows that our class is strong and we can do some big things next year.”
“We had a rough start to the beginning of the season, but we always felt we could go the whole way. We just fell apart in the fourth quarter [against Plant].”
In the midst of basketball season Goettel says that he working hard to stay in shape and hopes to continue improving as a football player, which is his true sport.
Goettel says that he has not received any letters or talked to any colleges yet, but hopes to have the opportunity to play at the next level.
“I just love the game of football and give it 110 percent every play.”