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Tennessee Defensive Tackle Emmit Gooden Tears ACL, Out For Season

The Tennessee football team suffered a blow just before the start of the season, as it was announced that senior defensive tackle Emmit Gooden is out for the year with a torn ACL.

The multiple reports were later confirmed after Wednesday’s practice by Jeremy Pruitt.


This is a big loss for the Vols, considering a number of starting defensive lineman from last season’s team graduated, including Kyle Phillips, Alexis Johnson, and Shy Tuttle.

Gooden was a part of Pruitt’s first recruiting class on Rocky Top after he was a JUCO star at Independence C.C. where Gooden was a part of the Netflix series Last Chance U. During his time at Independence, Gooden was named as a second-team All-American after finishing with 81 tackles in 2017.

Gooden had emerged as a candidate to start at defensive tackle. Last season, Gooden finished with a total of 33 tackles, including seven TFLs. He played in all 12 games and had a great day against ETSU when he finished with a career-high eight tackles, three TFLs, and one sack.

Wednesday night, Gooden took to his Instagram to make a statement following the news:

With this injury, Tennessee would love to hear the outcome of the eligibility waiver request for former five-star recruit and Michigan transfer Aubrey Solomon. Despite announcing his transfer in December 2018, Solomon has yet to hear if he will be eligible to play this season. Meanwhile, players like Tate Martell, Justin Fields, and Chris Steele were all deemed eligible within months of their request.

The Vols will look to their younger personnel to fill in for Gooden, as well as the possibility of Solomon being denied eligibility. JUCO transfers Savion Williams and Darel Middleton might see more action on the defensive line because of the injury. The Vols will also look for underclassmen such as Elijah Simmons, Kingston Harris, Kurott Garland, Greg Emerson, Matthew Butler, and John Mincey to fill in.

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