But after a visit to LSU this past weekend, he admits he might not be able to wait that long. It was his second time in Baton Rouge. He called the first visit the best he’s ever taken, but the one this weekend surpassed it.
“I want to be a Tiger so bad, but recruiting is a long process,” Gooden said. “I’m trying to hold out, but LSU’s making it hard for me…They’re on top. The first visit was great. This one was even better.”
Gooden left his hometown near Memphis, Tenn., early Saturday morning, arriving in Baton Rouge about two hours before Spring Game kickoff. He attended the postgame crawfish boil and stayed overnight before heading home Sunday morning.
All that time on campus left him plenty of time to spend around his three lead recruiters — Ed Orgeron, Kevin Steele and Les Miles.
“They’re patiently waiting until I become a Tiger,” Gooden said. “They all said I can start at LSU, so that’s a great feeling to know I can come in as a freshman because they need defensive ends.”Frank Herron, another Memphis native. He got to meet some former Tigers as well — Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry.
“Most schools have celebrities and NFL stars hanging out with the recruits, letting them know how life’s like,” Gooden said. “But LSU, I must say, is a brotherhood.”
Gooden hopes his third visit to LSU comes soon. He plans to attend one of the Tigers’ camps this summer, but that may not be the only time he comes down in the next few months.
“Maybe I’ll come down one weekend when nothing’s going on and just hang out,” Gooden said. “Every time I come to LSU, even though it’s just my second time, I feel at home, and that’s a great feeling.”
Gooden does still plan to first narrow his recruitment to five schools heading into his senior season. He wants to take his official visits before announcing his commitment, which may not come until NSD.
But he’s not ruling out an accelerated timeframe.
“If I don’t wait to NSD,” Gooden said, “that means LSU has done a really great job. I could see myself committing there pretty soon.”