Vols Make Top 3 for 2018 JUCO Four-Star Defensive Tackle

    by -

    (Photo via Andrew Hutchinson/247Sports)

    Emmit Gooden is a four-star junior college defensive tackle originally from Brownsville, Tennessee. He now plays for Independence Community College in Kansas. As signing day approaches, the Vols find themselves squarely in the running for his commitment.

    Now if you’re thinking, “that name sounds familiar,” then you’re right.

    Four years ago, Gooden actually committed to the Vols. Later, he backed out of that decision and committed to Mississippi State. He never went there either though, and eventually ended up at Independence Community College. Interestingly enough, that’s the school that will be featured on the next season of Last Chance U, and Gooden is rumored to have a prominent role on the show.

    He had a very good career there, and now he is being heavily pursued once again by FBS schools.

    Thursday, just days before signing day, Gooden released his top 3 schools still in the running for his signature. Tennessee was able to crack the list alongside West Virginia and Arkansas.

    Gooden’s recruitment has been just as wild the second time as it was the first.

    In June of 2017, Gooden committed to Arkansas. He and Bret Bielema had a great relationship, which is why they were able to get his commitment.

    When the Razorbacks fired Bielema at the conclusion of the 2017 season, they lost Gooden. He decommitted from Arkansas and re-opened his recruitment.

    Tennessee didn’t even extend an offer to him until January 14th of this year. Since then, however, they have been very active in his recruitment.

    Defensive tackle/nose tackle is a position of need for Tennessee, especially after Kahlil McKenzie declared for the draft. Gooden can come into the program and have an immediate impact. He is an athletic lineman and is good against both the pass and run. At 6-foot-4, 295 pounds, he has the size needed for the SEC.

    Jeremy Pruitt and his staff have been able to make the Vols a legitimate contender for Gooden’s signature in a short period of time. Making the top three for his services is very impressive. While it’s still not likely that the Vols will land him, there is certainly a chance for Tennessee to add him to their 2018 signing class. He will make his decision next Tuesday on National Signing Day, as will many top recruits across the country.

    We will have complete coverage right here at Rocky Top Insider, and we will be live at Toyota Knoxville at 2 PM Eastern for a live show breaking down Tennessee’s class for the day.