INDEPENDENCE, Kan. (BVM) – Emmit Gooden was a popular name during the third season of Netflix’s hit show “Last Chance U.” Now, the former Independence Community College defensive lineman finds himself across the globe as he works his way back onto the football scene.
The four-star JUCO recruit became one of the show’s most featured players as the series followed him around closely throughout his breakout season in the NJCAA. In his two seasons under Independence coach Jason Brown, Gooden became a game wrecker on the defensive side, totaling 81 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and one sack as a sophomore and 55 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles as a freshman in 2016.
“You gotta coach Emmit hard,” Brown told The Athletic back in 2019. “I had to get after his butt, man… A lot, a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot. But he took it, and at the end of the day, it made him a better player and a person. He’s a kid that gets it, and that’s why I hope he’s successful.”
His work on the line became a major reason why Independence secured the No. 5 spot nationally during the 2017 season when the Pirates captured the Jayhawk Conference league title with a 9-2 overall record.
Following his two seasons at Independence, Gooden would get his chance at the Division I level, making the jump to the University of Tennessee. With the Vols, the 6-foot-3, 290-pound lineman would start early on recording 33 tackles, seven tackles for a loss and one sack during his junior campaign.
After missing his senior year due to a knee injury early on in fall camp, Gooden would not return to the field after being dismissed later on from the Tennessee football program following an aggravated domestic assault arrest.
The dismissal would bring Gooden to Lincoln University for his final season of college football after signing on with the Division II football program back in 2021. With the Oaklanders, Gooden would go on to play in the Podyum Preps All-Star Bowl game last December.
— Last Chance U (@LastChanceUAlum) June 8, 2022
Gooden’s goal of becoming a professional football player has brought him to Finland, where the former All-American and SEC standout recently signed a contract with the Seinäjoki Crocodiles of the Finnish Maple League. So far, he’s been a part of the Crocodiles’ early season.
The league is known as the highest level of American football in Finland, played under the American Football Association of Finland. The season is played in summer, with a schedule that typically runs from May to September.