SEC interest grows again for junior college DT Emmit Gooden

Emmit Gooden

Junior college defensive tackle Emmit Gooden, who decommitted from Mississippi State earlier this year, said he is beginning the process of narrowing his focus.

“As of right now I don’t have any favorites,” Gooden told GN. “Earlier this week I was listing the schools and I think I’m around 20.”

Gooden (6 feet 4, 310 pounds) is originally from Brownsville (Tenn.) Haywood and now attends Independence (Kan.) Community College. He is one of the top 10 overall junior college prospects in the class of 2018.

“I knew in high school that my grades messed up my rankings and offers and stuff like that, so I thank God for a second chance in junior college,” he said.

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Gooden was committed to both Tennessee and Mississippi State at different times during his high school career, then was committed to MSU again while at Independence before re-opening his recruiting.

“Tennessee has reached out to me,” Gooden said. “I’m looking forward to talking to them soon and trying to get that offer because there is nothing like playing for your home state. So, hopefully they get back at me.

“With Mississippi State, my brother (Jarvis Varnado) played basketball there. Me and Coach (Dan) Mullen, we have a great relationship. To this day, he still texts me and sends me encouraging words and tries to help me stay focused. I still have love for both Tennessee and Mississippi State.”

Gooden compares his game as a defensive tackle to some of the best in the game today.

“I’m a very passionate player that has love for the game,” Gooden said. “I like to consider myself as a Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh type. My first step can get you and my finesse move can get you.”

This time around, Gooden knows exactly what he is looking for in a college destination.

“Coming from junior college, if a school is bringing you in to sit on the bench, then that’s the wrong fit,” Gooden said. “Most of all I’m looking for the right fit. Can I play right away? Can I produce the right numbers to move onto the next level?

“Also looking for a family vibe. If you don’t feel that when you go on a visit, then that might be the wrong fit for you. So, fit and family are very important.”

Gooden has six SEC offers to this point: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Missouri.

“That right there makes me work even harder,” he said. “… To be scouted and targeted by SEC schools means you have to be a baller.”

Gooden continues to compile offers. His most recent one came from TCU on May 11.

(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreenGN)

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