Chad Simmons - scout

Arkansas Razorbacks check out big-time D-Lineman Emmit Gooden

Paul Rhoads and John Scott Jr. were in Kansas on Monday checking out some junior college talent. Among the prospects they saw was Emmit Gooden.

Arkansas was on the road recruiting on Monday. The Hogs had Paul Rhoads, defensive coordinator, and John Scott Jr. who coaches the defensive line in Kansas checking out some junior college talent.

One of the stops they made was Independence (Kan.) Community College to see defensive lineman Emmit Gooden practice. While there they also got to check in on cornerback Antonio Howard, who is Gooden's roommate. It appears Howard may not play for the Pirates next year since he can leave with three to play three. He was at Texas A&M recently on an official visit and will also see Louisville.

Gooden is the prize prospect though at Independence. The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Gooden has offers from such schools as Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Louisville and USC. He played high school football at Brownsville (Tenn.) Hayward. Gooden paid Arkansas and its coaches a very high compliment.

"Arkansas is a great upcoming program which should take over the SEC West," Gooden said. "Once in high school they reached out but grades was all messed up so they fell back. I mean the program is heading in the right direction and I think they have the right coaches to take them where they need to go."

As a freshman at Independence, Gooden had 55 tackles, including 37 unassisted, 13.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, two forced fumbles, one recovered fumble and one pass breakup. Gooden looked back at his 2016 season.

"I honestly think I did pretty fair," Gooden said. "But it's still much work need to be done and season started off a little rocky but ended up on a positive note."

In the 2016 season, the Hogs struggled defending the run. That is an area where Gooden could definitely help them. He talked about what he considers his strengths on the field.

"I would have to say stopping the run and causing pressure in the inside or out," Gooden said.

Gooden has several impressive offers and is very likely to add more this spring. He said he's gonna call Arkansas to see if they are offering after watching Monday's practice. Gooden talked about what will go into his decision as far as where he sign.

"Due to the fact I came JUCO I would have to go into a program that's lacking my position," Gooden said. "Somewhere I can showcase my talent and win ball games. Then grow as a young man."


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