Vols land key cog for 2016 class, Emmit Gooden commits

Emmit Gooden commits to Tennessee

TheRealEmmit22 ‏@What_A_Star5
Me at The UT Knox game when they played Auburn #GBO #Vols

Emmit Gooden commits to Tennessee

Tennessee picked up another commit for the 2016 class on Saturday when Brownsville, Tennessee defensive lineman Emmit Gooden pledged his commitment to the Vols.

Gooden, listed around 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, is projected to be one of the top prospects in the state of Tennessee in the 2016 class. He informed defensive coordinator John Jancek of his decision while in Knoxville for junior day on Saturday.

Former Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, now at Penn State, offered Gooden a scholarship earlier this week, but it was too little too late (as crazy as that sounds when referring to a current high school sophomore). One step ahead, Tennessee offered last month.

It’s been written over and over, but the fact deserves emphasis: locking down the state is critical for Butch Jones and his staff, especially as the mid state talent level is on the rise. Receiving a pledge from a prospect of this caliber so early in the process is just another brick in the foundation of what the Vols are building. Despite an unimpressive 5-7 record a year ago, things are changing in Knoxville and many talented prospects can see it.

“I’ve always wanted to play for my state,” Gooden told Volquest.com. “I dream about it, playing in the state. It’s one of my dreams, playing in the state and then making it to the league.”

It’s the second commit for Butch Jones and company already this month. Class of 2016, Sevierville, Tennessee defensive back Dorian Banks committed to the Vols just nine days earlier.

According to Gooden, he was also receiving interest from Alabama, Southern Cal and Mississippi State.

Tennessee Vols Recruiting Forum thread: ’16 TN DE Emmit Gooden (UT Commit 2/15/14)