Chad Simmons - scout

Standout defensive end Emmit Gooden attends Mississippi State's first two home games of the season.

Mississippi State hosted a huge group of visitors when the Bulldogs tangled with the LSU Tigers. A handful of visitors returned last weekend to see Dan Mullen’s team take on Northwestern State. One of the most notable was defensive end Emmit Gooden.

“I want to get back down there and see how they bounded back from a tough loss,” Gooden said. “I wanted to see how they would respond and I thought they did a good job. “I thought the defense played pretty good and they’re getting there. I thought they played pretty good on Saturday and I am sure that they are just going to get better as the season goes.” While every school has an area recruiter and position coach keeping tabs on priority targets, Gooden reports that he gets a lot of attention from the Mississippi State staff from the top Dawg on down. “Coach (Billy) Gonzales is my main recruiter, but I hear a lot from Coach (David) Turner and Coach Mullen,” Gooden said. “They really show me that they want me bad down there. They are always talking about how they feel like it would be a good fit for me and that they really want me to come and be a part of their program.” The Bulldogs are far from the only program showing a serious level of interest. “There are a lot of schools recruiting me hard, but I would say it’s pretty much a toss-up between LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Texas A&M,” Gooden said of his most assertive suitors. “They are all recruiting me pretty hard and they have a lot of good things to say. “Kentucky has been in touch a good bit, Louisville too. NC State has been after me to come to a game out there, so I will probably go see them some time soon. “I don’t have any official visits set up yet, but Arizona State wants me to come out there during the season. They will probably end up being my first official. I just don’t have anything set up yet.” Gooden reports that schools still have time to make a move with him and that he remains open to all interested parties. “I am just trying to keep things open until I can figure out the best fit for me,” Gooden shared. “I am really looking hard at the coaches and what kind of relationship I have with all of them. “I am in no rush to do anything. They just started the Army tour, so I hope I made the game there. If I didn’t then maybe I will make one of the other big bowl games and I can announce my decision then. “If I don’t get picked for any of those, I am just going to ride it out until February and then just make my decision then on signing day. “I just want to take my time and be sure about everything before I make a decision.” Gooden has several invitations to enjoy a college game this weekend, but reports that is still considering his options for Saturday. The talented defensive end reports that he wants to make the rounds and see as many school as he can during the 2015 season.

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