"I just felt the most comfortable with the coaches and players at Mississippi State," Gooden said. "I have been over there a lot and I just got a good feeling there. I feel like I'm at home when I'm over there."
Gooden reports that his relationship with his future position coach, David Turner, was also a major factor in his recruitment.
"I really like Coach Turner and he has been straight with me throughout the process," Gooden said. "I feel like I fit in good with what he wants to do and I feel like I fit in with all of the players. I feel like if Kobe Jones, Raekwon Davis and the other guys come here that we can have one of the best defensive lines in the country."
The official visit to Starkville was the only one the talented defensive end took. Gooden spent some time in Baton Rouge, but reports that he was unable to spend as much time in Tuscaloosa as he wanted during the process. With his selection now made, the process appears to be over.
"It's been a roller coaster, man," Gooden explained. "I have enjoyed it, but at times it has been real stressful. It's still stressful now.
'I went up to the school earlier to turn some books in and some of the people were asking me if I was ready. I was thinking then about how big a decision all of this is and how long it took me to make my decision.
"I just wanted to take my time with everything and find the right school for me and I feel like I have done that."
Gooden went back and forth over the course of the past year with LSU, Mississippi State and Tennessee all holding the lead at some point. In the end, the Bulldogs won out.
"I have spent a lot of time at Mississippi State and I just feel like that I have the best relationship with everybody there," Gooden said. "I am happy with my decision and relieved that all of this is over. It's been hard at times and it's going to be a relief to have all of this behind me,"
Mississippi State was one of several offers for the Scout National 300 member. Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, Penn State, Tennessee and Texas A&M among others extended offers. Down the stretch, LSU and Mississippi State were the odds on favorites to land Gooden.