RECRUITING: He's a Gooden

Ft. Lauderdale DE/LB Tavares Gooden has three favorites, but Oklahoma is still in the mix


Gooden's prep career started at South Breward and will wind up at St. Thomas Aquanis, but no matter where he has played Gooden has been one the best players on the field. As a freshman Gooden was a defensive end and then shifted to linebacker and running back. Last season at St. Thomas, Gooden played both fullback and defensive end, the same positions he will play this season. Gooden finished last season with 87 tackles, 12 1/2 sacks and three forced fumbles while he rushed for 175 yards on 50 carries as a short-yardage back as a sophomore.

"I am being recruited as both a linebacker and a defensive end," said Gooden. "Most people really want me at linebacker, but there a few schools that like me a little more at defensive end. It doesn't matter to me where I play. I just want to get a scholarship and then show everybody what I can do."

Gooden can bench 365 pounds, squats 500 and has a 34-inch vertical jump. Gooden also lettered in hoops and he throws the discus (181 ft.) and the shot (47'3) in track.

Gooden has offers from Miami, Florida State, Florida, Ohio State, LSU and Oklahoma.

"LSU and Miami are my top two schools right now," said Gooden. "I also like Florida State. I really don't know anything about Oklahoma. I haven't really talked with them yet, or been to any of their camps."

Gooden has yet to tack his ACT.

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