Cincinnati's coaching staff couldn't confidently project Goode as a linebacker. The arrangement fell apart. Sometime later, John and Najee were working out in Cleveland and bumped into Bruce Tall, who was then a safeties coach at WVU.
The Goodes were invited to visit campus and John hit it off with Jeff Casteel, who was then the linebackers coach and defensive coordinator. In Casteel, John Goode saw a person he believed would treat Najee like he would.
Najee saw the engineering program and a chance to simply earn a chance.
He picked WVU.
"I told him if he was going to go to school there, he's got to get a scholarship," John said. "We were in a little bit of a rough time at the time because we had our other two sons in college. I told him if he could get a scholarship, that would help us out greatly.
"He took it on his shoulders as a challenge and he took it seriously. We sat down and circled a couple guys on the roster he'd have to compete with and go after if he wanted a spot."
Goode redshirted in 2007, but earned his scholarship after the season. He had different jobs through the years and fit in different packages and special situations. He could rush the passer on the defensive line. He could drop back in coverage. He learned all three linebacker positions and could play, or start, wherever and whenever he was needed.
In 2011, Goode started every game in two different positions and had 87 tackles and 14 tackles for a loss. He was named All-Big East first team by the conference coaches and he'd earned everything that came with it.
"I noticed when we played Louisville we ran certain deals and they ran the ball away from me," he said. "A lot of guys ran away from me, which helped everyone else.
"If you run away from me, you can't double-team Bruce. UConn ran away from me and then Bruce had two sacks as soon as he came in the game. Louisville doubled him and ran away from me, but Julian got a lot of pressure."
Goode was limited in the pre-draft auditions by a torn right pectoral that is now healed. He ran and moved well at the draft combine in Indianapolis, but couldn't bench press what he wanted to show off his strength.
Given a second chance last month at the pro day at WVU, a healthy Goode impressed. Teams began to take a closer look and ask him to do certain things to satisfy their own curiosities.
"The Jacksonville scout asked him to work out with the defensive backs," John Goode said. "Then (Coach) Lovie Smith and the G.M. for Chicago (Phil Emery) looked over out of the corner of their eyes and saw he moved pretty well and they segued over.
"Then (Steelers Coach) Mike Tomlin segued over. Then Detroit and Carolina and Indianapolis liked what they saw and segued over."
In the past three weeks, Najee has visited Indianapolis and Cleveland and met Jacksonville personnel in Morgantown.
"The interest has been increasing over the last two weeks because I think teams are realizing - as a matter of fact, I know they're realizing - you don't have to take him off the field on third down," John said. "He covers real well. The Clemson (Orange Bowl) game, he shut down their tight end and it wasn't a fluke.
"He's got good hips and he fits the mold of some of the existing guys in the league right now. Once he gets to the next level and they coach him up, they'll see what he's really made of."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.