One of those recruits, junior college defensive lineman Emmit Gooden, was making his first trip to Columbia but it sounds like it won’t be his last.
“It was a good visit to basically get down there and see the campus, see the facilities and meet some of the coaches, some of the players,” Gooden told BlackAndGoldIllustrated.com. “It was a great visit overall.”
Gooden is a 6-foot-4, 315-pounder at Independence (Kan.) Community College and his team’s bye week allowed him to make the drive to Columbia with two of his teammates.
He committed to Mississippi State while still in high school and still considers himself committed to the Bulldogs. But he also has offers from Alabama and Missouri and had heard enough from the Tigers, including head coach Barry Odom and defensive line coach Jackie Shipp, to want to take a look at what Mizzou was all about.
Asked what was the highlight of his trip, Gooden first pointed to seeing defensive linemen like Charles Harris and Terry Beckner Jr. making big plays. Then he said it was meeting Shipp for the first time.
“We talk on the internet and talk on the phone so getting down there and getting to meet him and talk to him I think was the highlight of the trip,” Gooden said.
So what kind of impression did Missouri make on the defensive lineman?
“They make a good impression,” Gooden said. “Getting after the ball. I can fit their scheme. I can come in right away, after my junior college period is over with, and start. They expect me to start. One of the D-line GA’s (graduate assistants), he told me they expect me to come and play right away.”
When Gooden was moving on from his JUCO to a Division I program was a bit up in the air, but he said he now has more clarity on that.
“I checked with my advisor today,” Gooden said. “I’m going to be in the Class of 2018 but I’m leaving in December of 2o17.”
Gooden said he will move on to a D-1 program with three years of eligibility remaining.
“I’m going to redshirt next year so I’ll have three years to play three,” he said.
As for what’s next for him with recruiting, he’s considering making another trip back to Missouri when his college squad has its next bye week.
“Our next bye week is Oct. 22,” Gooden said. “I think that is Mizzou’s Homecoming. Coach Shipp wants me to come back down. I had a pretty good time hanging out with Terry Beckner, so I might make that trip again.”
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