Malliciah Goodman's college career ended on a high note with his three-sack performance against LSU.
He walked off the field that night knowing he still had work to do, however.
Now, thanks to four months of focused training and preparation, he'll soon walk back into the Georgia Dome as an NFL professional.
Drafted in the fourth round by the Atlanta Falcons, Goodman is pleased to being continuing his football career within easy distance of friends, family and Clemson fans.
"It's a great feeling - I felt like I could finally breathe," Goodman told Falcons.com after being selected early Saturday afternoon. "I knew the Falcons were interested. It's great to know that my family won't have a problem coming to see me play.
"I went through the process and the training, and to have finally found a home, this is a blessing to me."
Goodman said that when the pre-draft process began, "I knew my stock wasn't that high, so I just tried to work harder than everybody else."
Armed with impressive 'measurables' for his defensive end position - size, strength, arm and hands size, quickness, explosiveness - Goodman needed to convince scouts that he has the drive to make it in the NFL.
"I performed well during Senior Bowl week, and at the Combine, my interviews went well," Goodman said. "At our Pro Day, I talked to a lot of scouts and I think that boosted me up on the radar. And then my visits went great.
"The Falcons are getting a committed, very hard-working player - a pass rusher, somebody who can get to the ball, and a team player."
Goodman is considered a good fit for the Falcons' 4-3 scheme as a strong-side defensive end. He'll start out working behind Kory Biermann, competing for playing time with Cliff Matthews and Jonathan Massaquoi.
"He'll be one of the toughest, hardest working Falcons," Bleacher Report's Scott Carasik wrote of Goodman. "That's all the Falcons ask from their players. The Falcons got a steal with a second-round talent and first-round character here in the fourth round."