Tennessee has been recruiting J'Marion Gooch hard for months despite his commitment to Auburn, and that work has now paid off. Gooch has flipped his commitment to Tennessee.
Earlier this week before making the announcement, the 6-8, 360 pounds prospect from The Kings Academy told VR2 on SI about Tennessee's pursuit of him, "they are talking to me every other day."
Gooch said on how the Vols made him a priority, "they never stopped or gave up. They said they didn't care if I was committed, they want me at Tennessee regardless."
Gooch said on what that meant to him, "it meant a lot. That shows that I am really wanted, and they really don't want to lose me."
Gooch said he speaks the most with "Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt and Coach (Will) Friend."
He added on how Tennessee sees him fitting, "they think I can play everything on the line. I will play wherever they need me to play."
Gooch said, "not really" on a preference of where he plays at the next level.
A big factor in the decision to flip his commitment is the way Tennessee recruited him, as he said, "really, we talk about family, and a lot more personal stuff than just football."
Gooch said on what Tennessee is getting in him as a player, "they will be getting J'Marion Gooch. They are getting a good player, a team player."
Gooch said on what he plans to do off the field at the college level, "I am split between majoring in communications or special education."
Off the field, Gooch said, "I am a very laid back guy. I like to stay to myself."
Where his high school season is concerned, Gooch is helping The King's Academy start the season strong. He said, "It feels good. I know we are going to win state this, everybody on my team has the same goal, and that is to win state."
Gooch said on the difference, "this year we have a lot better team chemistry. Last year, we did not really know each other, so there was some selfishness, but everybody has the same goal this year."
The coveted big-man has played a key role in that, as he said, "I am holding people more accountable at all times. I make sure everybody is."
Gooch is an SI All-American candidate, and he continues to be one of the best prospects from the state of Tennessee.