Jared Goforth has received numerous accolades for his exploits on the football team.
Goforth, a 6-0, 195 lb. senior free safety from Polk City, Iowa, is one of the most decorated athletes on a Mustang football team that has a 13-0 record and will play for the 2012 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Championship against Marian University this Thursday in Rome, Ga.
Goforth was named to this year’s All-Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) First-Team, marking the third time he has been named to the first-team of the all-league honor squad. In addition to his all-conference honors, Goforth was named a Victory Sports Network (VSN) honorable mention All-American in 2010 and a Beyond Sports Network (BSN) honorable mention All-American in 2011.
This year a new honor came his way when Goforth was named to the second-team of the 2012 Capital One College Division Academic All-America Football Team as selected by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
“Being recognized for academics was very rewarding and something I haven’t done before,” said Goforth, who has a 3.35 grade point average with a major in business administration. “Ever since growing up I’ve taken pride in academics and it paid off.”
Goforth said success has come much easier for him on the football field than in the classroom.
“For me, it’s been harder to do well in school than on the football field,” Goforth said. “I’ve been playing football forever, so I think I’ve had that part down. Academics is all about studying and going to class. It takes a lot of effort to do well.”
Goforth’s time this fall has been split between football, school, and working a part-time job as a teller at Security National Bank.
“It’s difficult to keep your grades up during the season because you practice for two to three hours a day, you might have a meeting for an hour, and you are in class the other hours” Goforth said. “There really isn’t any down time to do homework until you get home from football. The key is getting up and going to class and making sure you set time aside to sit down and get your homework done on time.”
Goforth was already taking college level courses when he attended Ankeny High School. The head start helped make it possible for him to earn his degree in three and one-half years and he is scheduled to graduate later this month.
“Luckily I came in with a lot of credits from high school,” Goforth said. “That helped me lighten the course load during football season and then take an extra class during the second semesters.”
After graduation, Goforth hopes to find a job in management or sales.
“I’ve always been intrigued by sales,” Goforth said. “I’m kind of a competitive person and I like to manage things and be in control. Majoring in business administration with an emphasis in management kind of tailored my personality.”
Goforth ranks as one of the top defensive backs in Morningside history with 16 career interceptions. He is the Mustangs’ third leading tackler this season with 81 total tackles, including a team-high 49 solo stops, and ranks fourth nationally in the NAIA with nine interceptions. He will go into Thursday’s 2012 Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship two shy of the Morningside single-season record of 11 interceptions set by fellow Mustang senior Colby Henderson last year. A record tying or breaking effort by Goforth in Thursday’s title game would probably mean a favorable outcome for the Mustangs.
“This season has been just about everything a senior could ask for between going undefeated, winning a conference title for the second year in a row, and getting to a national championship game for the first time in school history,” Goforth said. “To win this game would be an amazing cap to an amazing four years at Morningside.”