By James Matthey

American sports have always operated on a different level to everyone else.

The US does everything bigger, flashier and with more noise. Whether it be at half-time in the Super Bowl or during the NBA Finals, the lights shine brighter and the cameras seem to work harder.

Take the college football scene, for example. A university student in America can find himself playing in front of 100,000 people at one match.

Advertisement

College sport is a serious business - that's why American universities are always scouring the country for the best talent available. Here's where Kiyaunta Goodwin comes in.

Goodwin is a promising prospect by anyone's standards when it comes to football players. He weighs 156kg and stands just a centimetre or two shy of 2m.

He's massive.

His physical attributes make him the perfect offensive tackle and the University of Kentucky has recognised that, tabling a first division scholarshihp offer to play for it when Goodwin's high school days are over.

But here's the thing - Goodwin is 13-years-old. He hasn't even started year eight yet.

Think back to when you were 13 (if you can). We're guessing you probably weighed closer to 56kg, rather than 156kg, and you were likely a good 30 or 40cm shy of 2m at least.

Can you imagine standing on a sports field at 13, looking up and seeing Goodwin in front of you? Scary.

He wouldn't look out of place in an NFL line-up.

Chris Vaughn works at Aspirations Gym in Louisville - Kentucky's biggest city - and comes into regular contact with the state's best footballing talent. As Goodwin's trainer, he says he's never seen a 13-year-old like him.

"This is definitely the biggest kid I've seen at that age," Vaughn told WLKY. "[A] kid like that, at that size, doesn't really have to do much, but him coming in and doing that work is what will separate him from everyone else.

"I've been blessed to work with a lot of special kids from this area to come out of here and he has a chance to be the one.

"You really can't comprehend his size, until you compare him to others."

Vaughn also said Goodwin's athleticism is as impressive as his size.

"He moves his feet extremely well for his size and is freakishly athletic," Vaughn said, per maxpreps.com. "His hands are enormous and he's very strong ... once he gets his hands on you, it's over.

"He's still a raw talent, with enormous upside. He also has members in his family as tall as 6-foot-10 (2.08m).

"The sky is truly the limit for him. You just don't see kids like Kiyaunta at his age."

But football isn't Goodwin's only love. The down-to-earth teenager enjoys his studies and plans to be an engineer when he grows up.

"I like music - I'm a clarinet player," Goodwin told 247 Sports. "I like robotics - I want to be an engineer.

"I like social studies and science."

The youngster loves his football and says he's glad all his hard work is starting to pay off. But again, he's got brains to go with the brawn, aware of the need to pursue other interests, because the life of a professional athlete doesn't always go to plan.

"A lot of people put their life and soul into playing [football]," Goodwin told WLKY. "But if they aren't drafted or something happens, they need to have a backup plan.

"I'm looking forward to going back [to the University of Kentucky campus] to see what it looks like a little more, to speak more to the coaches, maybe even meet some of the players and ask them what they think about the school, how they think the teachers are. That's mostly what I'm worried about."

It's a refreshing take from a refreshingly intimidating talent.