Cameron Goodson has joined the APSU football team after serving as a U.S. Army veteran. CARTER MANSFIELD | THE ALL STATE

Cameron Goodson grew up with a passion for football.

After serving three years in the U.S. Army, the wide receiver jumped at any chance he could to play the game he loves once again.

“Being in the military has given me that mental edge that I didn’t have before,” he said. “Just training every day allowed my body and mind to get where it needed to be.”

Goodson was stationed in Anchorage, Alaska and was a machine gunner in the airborne infantry for two years. Out of high school, he had little-to-no recruiting attention. He was only 140 pounds at the time.

He said the Army prepared him, both mentally and physically, to be able to play at the next level. 

“It’s hard to compare the military and football because they’re so different,” Goodson said. “I definitely think being in the military has given me an edge in football, though.”

After originally failing to walk on at Texas Tech University last season, Goodson sent his workout videos to over 170 schools across the country. Programs began to see what the military had done for him, and he received a good amount of interest.

His film stuck with head coach Scotty Walden, and the convenience of a planned move made Austin Peay stand out.  

“Coach Walden saw my film and reached out to me about joining the team, and I was looking to move to Tennessee, so that really sealed the deal for me.” 

Walden was also very impressed with Goodson, which led him to extend an offer to become a part of his first APSU recruiting class. 

“His story fits perfectly with our culture and what we are trying to build here at Austin Peay,” he said. “He knows the value of true hard work. He understands things that we don’t have to teach.”

Walden wants to instill some of the same qualities that are learned in the military into his program, so he said offering Goodson a spot on the team was a “no-brainer.”

He added that the wideout has been an “awesome” addition to the Governors’ program and that he hasn’t missed a beat since returning to football.  

Goodson looks to make his first in-game appearance next week when APSU kicks off its season at UT-Chattanooga. If he is to play, it will be his first live action since graduating high school in 2017.