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Defensive End/Linebacker Mark Gooden commits to Northwestern

The three-star had offers from several other Power Five schools.


Northwestern has added another member to its 2016 recruiting class in defensive end/linebacker Mark Gooden from Reynoldsburg High School (Reynoldsburg, Ohio). Gooden himself took to Twitter to announce the news:

Gooden stands 6-foot-1 and weighs in at 221 pounds. He is officially listed as a weak-side linebacker and defensive end by 247 sports, who rated him with a .8033 composite score.

His offer list was impressive. Northwestern beat out several other Power 5 schools, including Iowa, Boston College, Indiana, Purdue, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. He had also received interest from Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and West Virginia. He is the 19th commitment to the Class of 2016.

Here are Gooden's highlights:

There are five things that you notice from the film:

1. Gooden plays a lot of defensive end in high school, but at just 6'1" and 221 pounds, he would have to really bulk up to play there in college. That's why he's projected as a linebacker at the next level.

2. He possesses a good, quick first step and shows the ability to beat opposing tackles from both the outside and inside, sometimes beating them around the edge with his speed and other times setting up like he's going outside and cutting inside and shooting the gap between tackle and guard.

3. He is relentless in his pursuit, which is a major positive. Gooden doesn't give up on any plays and he runs hard after quarterbacks who have escaped the pocket. On several plays in the tape, he is seen tracking down ballcarriers several yards downfield. He has a constant, high-energy motor.

4. He uses his hands a lot in his attack of opposing blockers, which is impressive. He has a wide variety of moves and he uses his quickness to his advantage. Having said that...

5. Gooden should focus on bulking up his lower body so he can really drive into opposing blockers. Again, he shows great quickness, and adding muscle to his frame- something he will surely do-- will really help him out as a football player.