Long Beach (Calif.) Polytechic athlete Randall Goforth may be officially finished with the recruiting process, but his football season has yet to end. This weekend, Goforth took part in the 2012 Polynesian All-American Classic in Norwalk, California, representing both his culture and the UCLA Bruins.
Goforth, who played in memory of his late uncle, felt like the whole event really represented his culture well.
"It says a lot about the Polynesian culture. We all stick together, we're like one big family. We have fun and enjoy each other's company and that's what we did today. It meant a lot to me, playing for my uncle, and it was pretty fun," he said.
Goforth, one of the top players participating in the game, feels blessed rather than pressured with this opportunity to play.
"Football is important to our culture because it's hard to make it out here and to see a fellow Polynesian make it in this business is just good to see. I'm grateful that I got this opportunity. As far as pressure, well, I don't think about it like that. I just go out there and play," said Goforth.
Goforth also has some choice advice to younger players who look up to him.
"Just work hard and do what you want to do."
Recently, Goforth took his own advice to heart. Though four of his Long Beach Poly teammates and close friends all signed together to play college ball at Arizona State, Goforth changed his commitment and chose to play for the in-state Bruins.
"It was tough, but at the same time, I just have to do what's best for me. I still have love for them and they are going to do their job over there at ASU and I'm going to do mine in SoCal," he said.
Goforth has already been putting in hours preparing for his first season at UCLA.
"I'm just training a lot, getting to know the new system that I'm about to play in and just get to know the players that are going to be my fellow teammates. That's the main deal," he said.
A huge factor in Goforth's decision was Bruins head coach Jim Mora, and that relationship continues even post-signing day.
"It's been really good. I still spend time with him even after all of the recruiting. That's basically who I'll be with next year, my coaching staff," he said.
Though he played both wide receiver and corner back for the Jackrabbits, Goforth sees himself playing on the defensive side of the ball.
"Because I'm used to being a receiver, I know some pointers that help me a lot when I transfer them to the other side of the ball. My instincts and reactions are really why I feel like I'm a good corner," he said.
Goforth is working out and preparing himself in hopes of seeing the field as a true freshman.
"I think the chances of me seeing the field next year are pretty good. I mean, it's all up to me. If I get the opportunity to play, it's up to me to make the best of it," said Goforth.
Either way, Goforth feels confident about the future of the Bruins program.
"The future of UCLA is looking real bright. Just know that some new sheriffs are coming into town and we're going to try and make some noise," he said.