Because he was busy preparing for his own football game last Saturday, Arkansas defensive line commit Emmit Gooden of Independence (Kan.) Community College wasn’t able to watch much of the Razorbacks’ 42-24 win over New Mexico State.
However, he did get to catch Arkansas sophomore and good buddy McTelvin “Sosa” Agim (6-foot-3, 286 pounds) notch his first sack this season and the third-and-a-half of his young career.
“That was great to see,” Gooden (6-4, 320) said. “He’s putting in the work and getting better all the time and I can’t wait to get up to Arkansas and make plays with him and the other guys.”
Agim and Gooden became friends when both were highly recruited defenders in high school and got to know each other at camps, all-star games and on recruiting visits.
“He’s a really good dude and we just bonded really well,” Gooden said. “Now we talk all the time and push each other to get better. Like I said, I can’t wait until we line up in the same defense next season.”
That’s good news for Razorback fans, who no doubt worried a bit when Good-en traveled with teammate and Oklahoma offensive line commit Tramonda Moore to watch the Sooners beat visiting Tulane 56-14.
It also gave him a chance to see former Independence teammate and current Tulane quarterback Jonathan Banks on a weekend when Arkansas had an open date.
“The visit went OK,” Good-en said. “I really didn’t count that as a visit. I just wanted to get down there to see one of my old teammates. He dressed out and I saw him before the game. He thought he was going to play, but he didn’t. It was just good to be down there, see him and know that he is doing good.”
Gooden, who played his high school football at Brownsville, Tenn., chose Arkansas over Alabama, Oklahoma, Mississippi State and Louisville among others.
“Tell the fans not to worry,” said Gooden, who was once committed to both Mississippi State and Tennessee in high school. “I’m all Arkansas. I just took a little visit with a friend to see a friend.”
Gooden’s Pirates are now 4-1 after a 32-28 come-from-behind road win over Dodge City (Kan.) Community College.
“It was a tough win on the road,” Gooden said. “It was a big one for us.”
That’s four straight wins after a humbling 70-21 loss to Iowa Western in the season opener.
“We are playing very solid, but there is still some work to be done to minimize our mistakes,” Gooden said.
The season-opening loss was a shock to Independence, but was probably a benefit in the long run for a team that is currently being filmed for the 2018 season of Netflix’s
“Last Chance U.”
“I think that was probably a part of it, all the hoopla,” Good-en said. “But we put those cameras out of mind and got back to work and are now taking care of business.”
Gooden is tied for the lead on his team with 36 tackles and seven tackles for lost yardage through five games this season after having 55 stops, 13.5 tackles for lost yardage, four sacks and two forced fumbles as a freshman last season.
“I think I have been playing good, but just like I said, there is work to be done,” Gooden said. “But overall, I am playing some good ball.”
Gooden took his official visit to Arkansas in mid-June and committed, but hopes to take an unofficial visit to see the Razorbacks play either Mississippi State or Missouri at the end of the season.
“Hopefully, I am going to be able to get down to one of those last two home games,” Gooden said. “I was hoping to get down for the Auburn game, but I have something at home that I have to go take care of and deal with. But hopefully I can catch a game before the season ends.”
Dudley Dawson is the recruiting editor for Hawgs Illustrated magazine.
Print Headline: DL Gooden: ‘I’m all Arkansas’