The Recruiting Guy:

JC DL Emmit Gooden picks Hogs over 'Bama, others

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Sunday, June 18, 2017
Bret Bielema and John Scott Jr. talk during Arkansas' spring practice Saturday, April 8, 2017.
Photo by Jason Ivester
Bret Bielema and John Scott Jr. talk during Arkansas' spring practice Saturday, April 8, 2017.

The Arkansas Razorbacks beat out Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia and others for highly recruited defensive tackle Emmit Gooden when he orally committed to the Hogs on Sunday.

He made an official visit to Fayetteville over the weekend and told Coach Bret Bielema he wanted to be a Razorback Sunday morning and announced his pledge publicly in the late afternoon.

Gooden, 6-4, 320 pounds, of Independence Community College in Kansas picked the Hogs over other scholarship offers from Southern Cal, Mississippi State, Missouri, TCU, Louisville and others. He plans to graduate in December and enroll in January.

“I felt like it was the best fit for me,” Gooden said. “I feel like I can be successful in Fayetteville.”

Coach Bret Bielema, defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads and defensive line coach John Scott Jr. recruited Gooden.

“They really didn't pressure me I feel like I was at home this weekend,” Gooden said. “I felt like I was the missing piece. This weekend I just felt the vibe around the players and the coaches and the fans the the people in the community.”

Gooden got to know Hog defensive lineman McTelvin Agim during the recruiting process in high school and the relaltionship helped the Hogs seal the deal.

“He was a big factor, we’ve known one another for a couple of years,” Gooden said. “He just kept it real throughout the whole process. He didn't pressure me at all. I feel like he played a big role in this process. I look forward to teaming up with him and hopefully become some of the best defensive players to ever play at Arkansas.”

Gooden, who recorded 55 tackles, 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles this past season, was rated a 4-star prospect by ESPN coming out of Brownsville, (Tenn.) Haywood in 2016. He had high praise for Scott, who joined the Razorback staff in February after spending two seasons with the New York Jets.

“I love Coach Scott,” he said. “You can’t go wrong by going to Arkansas. He came from the Jets so he knows what to expect and he knows what it takes to get to the next level. I feel like as a person and a player I can grow under him. I feel like Coach Scott is the right fit.”

He made an unofficial visit to Fayetteville on April 29, but the 48 hour official visit allowed him more time with the coaching staff.

“The coaching staff has been saying you’re the missing piece of this recruiting class and missing piece to this defense and they said with you we’re going to do some damage,” Gooden said. “I believed in it and prayed about it and I woke up this (Sunday) morning in the right sprit and I wanted to be a Razorback.“

He becomes the Hogs No. 7 commitment for the 2018 class.


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