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Updated at 11:18 p.m. on Saturday, July 21, 2018.

KNOXVILLE — A newcomer to the Tennessee football program, who models his game after a player once voted the dirtiest in the NFL, is featured in the newly released season of "Last Chance U" on Netflix.

Emmit Gooden, a 305-pound defensive tackle, is depicted as a soft-spoken talent with a mean streak on the field who struggles academically but is driven to make his family and hometown of Brownsville, Tennessee, proud.

Season three of "Last Chance U" profiles the 2017 football season of Independence Community College in Kansas. Gooden was a two-year starter for the team. He will have two years of eligibility at Tennessee.

Gooden's journey to the SEC took him first to Holmes Community College in Mississippi before he wound up at Independence. He is depicted on "Last Chance U" as a tenacious run-stopper with a tendency to receive personal-foul penalties for late hits.

"I can get nasty sometimes, and I just can't help it," Gooden says on the show. "I play physical. I play like Ndamukong Suh. He's very aggressive, and like, I try and model my game like that 'cause playing football in the trenches, you've got to be aggressive. It's just something I was born to do."

Suh is a veteran NFL defensive tackle who was once voted the league's dirtiest player in a Sporting News poll of other NFL players.

Gooden totaled 81 tackles for Independence in 2017. He was committed to Arkansas at one point last year but pledged to Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee before February's signing date this year. He was considered a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com.

"Emmit's been trying to get to Tennessee for several years now," Pruitt said on signing day, before noting that Gooden "fits for us inside with what we're trying to do defensively."

Gooden was committed to Tennessee briefly during high school. Though his style of play is intense and his personal fouls are a recurring theme in "Last Chance U," the show travels to Brownsville to show Gooden's soft side off the field. There, he is shown giving a speech at the local Boys and Girls Club, encouraging a group of younger boys to focus on their schoolwork.

"Even when I was younger, I felt like I had that chip on the shoulder to make sure my family was good," Gooden said, "because they was depending on me, and they're still depending on me to make something happen."

The show reveals that Gooden was considered a "church boy" who sang in the choir and loved football while growing up and was viewed as being "built different." The show also depicts academics as a challenge for Gooden, who was a late qualifier at Tennessee.

There is a point in the fourth episode of the season when Independence head coach Jason Brown receives a midterm academic report and indicates that Gooden's grades include three F's at the moment.

Brown, at times, seems perplexed by Gooden.

"I'm an Emmit Gooden away from being undefeated here, and I'm an Emmit Gooden away from having no wins," Brown says on the show. "First game last year, Emmit stomps a guy out, gets suspended two games. I don't get him for the Garden City game. He's gotten personal fouls in the Dodge City game last year that we were winning. But then Emmit dominates games and takes them over, too, and has probably won some games for us, too.

"It's just one of those deals that you've got to manage and be a psychologist."

Gooden will enter the competition for the nose tackle position in Tennessee's new 3-4 defensive scheme when preseason practice begins early next month.

Contact David Cobb at dcobb@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DavidWCobb and on Facebook at facebook.com/volsupdate.

 

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