Diamond in the Rough: Aaron Gooden

Aaron Gooden is a class of 2021 middle linebacker from Woodlawn High School in Baton Rouge, LA. Gooden stands at 6’0 230lbs with a bench of 405, a squat of 485, and a 40 yard dash time of a 4.6. With his monstrous strength, quick speed, and great size, Gooden is an absolute perfect match for the middle linebacker position. As evident by his film, Aaron possesses an incredible awareness on field, sniffing out ball carriers and hitting them with near concussive force. With exceptional run stopping ability, Gooden’s speed and awareness make him an excellent player in zone coverage as well. His intelligence and awareness on the field is impressive, while Aaron posts equally impressive results in the classroom with an overall GPA of 3.0

At what age did you begin playing football and what initially interested you about the sport?

 I started playing football at 5 years old and at first, I didn’t want to play but my dad kept pushing me and overtime I fell in love with it.

What did football teach you about yourself or life once you began playing? 

Football taught me how to work with a team and how to never give up no matter how hard things may get, it’s always going to pay off.

Who or what has been your biggest motivation or role model in the sport?

 My dad has been my biggest role model.

Do you have a favorite memory from your playing career?

My first varsity game I was a freshman and I got playing time. Being a freshman and to hear my name called was pretty cool.

Are you involved in any other sports or activities at school besides football? If so, how do you believe those experiences have helped you on the football field? 

Yes, I’m on the powerlifting team and it helps me get stronger for when I’m on the football field.

As a defensive end and linebacker, what is it like being in that position? What is the most rewarding aspect and what is the most challenging?

Being a linebacker, you’re constantly thinking it’s your job to make sure that everybody is lined up correctly and everybody knows where they need to go and what they need to be doing on each play.

Do you have a favorite athlete, college or NFL, that you look up to?

My favorite linebacker of all time is Ray Lewis. That’s why I wear the number 52.

What current player, college or NFL, do you believe your playstyle reflects most?

I believe my play style mostly reflects Devin White because we are around the same height and weight and also we’re both fast linebackers who know how to read and react to the offense. Also, we’re both good communicators on and off the field.

Outside of sports, do you have any hobbies or passions you pursue in your free time? What about them do you enjoy most? 

I enjoy spending time with my dad and my friends 

For the 2020 season, what are some personal goals that you look forward to accomplishing? Has your team set a specific set of goals for the upcoming season as well?

My personal goal for this season is to not only make All-District again, but to make All-State, leading the state in tackles. For the team, our goal is to just win as many games as possible and hopefully play for a championship.

What do you believe separates you from other high school lineman in the state of Louisiana? What makes you unique to your position?

I do believe I’m the best linebacker in the state because of my skill-set. I’m very good at reading and knowing what to expect from the other team and I’m always watching film. Also, I have really good grades, which I think helps separate me.

What advice would you give to younger football players who hope to one day play high school football? 

Stay hungry and believe in yourself don’t let anybody stop you from being great and perfect your craft also stay watching film.

Tell me a bit about the challenges of a school that has recently moved up to 5A football.

The competition is a little bit more difficult playing in a bigger atmosphere and some of the games are a little tougher.

With the new Coronavirus epidemic sweeping our country, a lot of teams nationwide have not been allowed to practice during the spring. How have you guys addressed this and hope to overcome it?

Keeping in contact with our coaches and asking them what all we can be doing to stay in shape and going over things over the phone to help us get better to get ready for the season

Finally, what do you believe to be the most rewarding part about playing the sport and being a part of a team? 

Going out there and having fun with your brothers. When you go out as a team and you’re together getting the job done, there’s no better feeling knowing that my brother to the left or to the right of me has my back and we got this done together.

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