Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest Tennessee recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers. Check out previous editions here. In this edition, we discuss Tennessee pursuing a junior college defensive tackle with Volunteer State roots.
Tennessee pursuing Emmit Gooden
Tennessee is switching to a 3-4 scheme with new coach Jeremy Pruitt, a shift from what the Vols defensive line has looked like in recent seasons.
The defensive tackle position will one of the biggest differences. In Pruitt’s scheme, the defensive tackle has to be able to occupy multiple blockers every play, freeing up linebackers to more easily make plays.
Right now, there isn’t a defensive tackle on the team who can really provide this ability. That could soon change, however.
Tennessee has offered junior college defensive tackle Emmit Gooden. He plays for Independence (Kan.) Community College but is from Brownsville, Tenn.
Gooden told SEC Country this is something Pruitt has tried to push with him in their conversations.
“His main selling point is to secure the state and lock down the state,” Gooden said. “Of course, he likes my playing style.
“I can fit their scheme and things like that.”
RELATED: 2018 Tennessee recruiting big board
Gooden fits exactly what Pruitt is looking for in the position. He is a 6-foot-4, 295-pound tackle who can clog up the middle of the line.
As a JUCO prospect, the hope would certainly be for him to come in and contribute right away.
Gooden rates as a 4-star prospect and the No. 17 junior college player in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He is the kind of guy the defense would need next season.
Gooden clearly still values his time in the state of Tennessee despite being in Kansas the past two seasons.
He values the opportunity to play for the Vols. He likes that Tennessee fans have shown him love on Twitter since the offer, too.
“It means a lot,” Gooden said. “Any kid who gets the opportunity to come back home and play for their home-state [school] is a great chance.”
Gooden was even committed to Tennessee for a time in school. He was forced to go the JUCO route because of his grades.
Gooden says the experience has humbled him and he realizes his mistakes from the past. He’s ready to be a difference maker and a leader next season.
Gooden is considering Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida State and Florida at this point. The plan is to take his official visit to Knoxville the first weekend in February. He will make his final decision on National Signing Day, Feb. 7. If Gooden takes his last visit just days before signing day, I would feel pretty good about Tennessee’s chances to land him.
Tennessee reoffers Class of 2019 wide receiver
The Vols have been making the rounds this week by offering top rising seniors-to-be. The coaching staff extended a rather important offer on Wednesday.
Jashawn Sheffield tweeted out he was happy to be reoffered by the new staff, using a picture of himself in Neyland Stadium in the tweet.
— Jashawn Sheffield (@Jashawnsheff) January 17, 2018
Sheffield rates as a 5-star wide receiver and rates as the No. 18 prospect in the Class of 2019, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
The 6-1, 178-pound Saint Simons Island, Ga., native is a difference maker with the ball in his hands.
It’s clear that Pruitt is targeting some of the best prospects in the Class of 2019. That class will likely show just how high he can potentially take a recruiting class at Tennessee.
Pruitt said during his introductory news conference he thought the Vols had a brand that resonated nationally, and it would impress prospects on the recruiting trail. He is indeed pushing for some of the best prospects in 2019, the next step is turning their interest into commitments.
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