Florida Gators trying to get a visit from Gooden

The Florida Gators coaching staff have been on an offering spree over the last few weeks and that has included several 2018 prospects as they hope to finish the class strong.

On Friday, the Gators offered JUCO defensive tackle Emmit Gooden (6-4, 295, Brownsville, TN. Independence JUCO) after two coaches spoke to him.

“Coach Otis and Coach EK [Franks],” Gooden said on which coach from Florida offered him. “They were saying that they need a defensive tackle and that I can come in and play right away and produce.”

Gooden and the Gators coaching staff are no strangers as he was once committed to Dan Mullen and his staff.

“I have a relationship with the staff from Mississippi State,” he said. “I have a relationship with Coach [Dan] Mullen, Coach [Billy] Gonzales and Coach [Greg] Knox from when they were at Mississippi State because I was committed to Mississippi State.”

Mullen and Gooden have also spoke recently as the Gators head coach tries to get the defensive tackle on campus.

“I’ve talked to him recently and we have a good relationship and good talks,” Gooden said on Mullen. “We’re in the process of setting up a visit now so I can fly out and see them.”

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham also spoke with Gooden and explained why the Gators need him in Gainesville.

“I talked to Coach [Todd] Grantham after I got offered too,” he said on the other coaches he has talked to. “He said that he liked the way I moved on film and liked the way I played at defensive tackle. He also thinks that I can come in and play right away. He said that I’m long and rangy and can play all three spots on the defensive line.”

Despite the Gators offering late in the process, Gooden says that his relationship with the coaching staff help’s Florida’s chances.

“It helps them because I just about know everybody and have a close relationship with them,” Gooden said of the new staff knowing him already helps Florida’s chances. “They are at a big time program now at Florida and all they’re is a couple of players away from a SEC championship.”

Heading into this week, Gooden only has one visit set up at this time but that could all chance after coaches visit him at his school.

“The only visit I have set up right now is to Louisiana-Lafayette next weekend,” he said. “I have three more visits left and like 10 schools are trying to fly me out. I’m playing it by ear because some coaches are supposed to come out tomorrow and this week and visit me and try to set up a visit.”

INSIDERS TAKE: Gooden says that Florida is scheduled to visit him this week and during that visit, the defensive tackle hopes to set up a visit to Florida. Gooden’s relationship with the staff really helps Florida’s chances.

Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.