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Haywood defensive lineman Emmit Gooden has offers from Alabama, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Penn State, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M and about 30 other schools. Here’s a Q&A with him. BRANDON SHIELDS/The Jackson Sun
BRANDON SHIELDS/The Jackson Sun

JACKSON – Emmit Gooden had no plans earlier last week of committing to play football at Arkansas on Sunday, but that’s what happened.

Gooden, a former Class 4A Mr. Football and All-West Tennessee Lineman of the Year at Haywood in 2015, committed to his third Southeastern Conference program on Sunday at the end of his official visit in Fayetteville.

“I liked the atmosphere and everything there and the way the coaches were with me,” Gooden said. “It just seemed like the perfect fit for me with Coach B (Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema) and everybody there.”

Gooden committed to play at Tennessee and Mississippi State when he was still in high school before academics forced him to go through junior college football at Independence Community College in Kansas.

“I’m academically straight now,” Gooden said. “That’s one thing coaches have been making sure about with me when I’ve talked to them this spring.

“I’m on track to graduate this winter, and that’s something coaches care about because they want to get you on campus as quickly as possible.”

Gooden’s list of offers included other NCAA FBS powers such as Alabama, Oklahoma, Southern Cal and Georgia. He recently took visits to Alabama, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

Gooden will play his sophomore season at…