Gooden Makes UM Commitment

At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas standout linebacker Tavares Gooden made his decision public on Monday evening.

"I've been liking Miami for a long time now and it just felt like the right time to go ahead and make a commitment," he said.

Gooden received a visit at school on Monday from linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves.

"He stopped by and we talked but it's not like it was sealing the deal or anything," he said. "I kind of knew in the back of my mind that Miami's where I wanted to go."

Gooden said Hargreaves and UM defensive coordinator Randy Shannon had a lot to do with his decision.

"They were able to convince me that Miami's the best place for me," he said. "I have a chance to go in and play linebacker for them and hopefully make an impact."

The standout linebacker said he likes what he sees on the UM depth chart.

"They're losing a lot of guys the next two years so I'll probably have a good chance to go in and play right away after that," he said. "I just have to go in and work hard, that's all."

Gooden, who will make his official visit to UM on Jan. 17, picked the Hurricanes over Ohio State.

"They have a great program," he said of the Buckeyes. "But Miami's Miami. It's hard to tell them no. I think it's a perfect fit for me."

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