Former Holmes Community College offensive lineman Jarius Gooch of Water Valley signed a national letter of intent today with Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, La.
Gooch was a member of two successful football programs at Holmes which finished 13-6. Holmes finished 7-3 his freshman year and was the Graphic Edge Bowl Champions and finished this season with a record of 6-3 just missing out on the MACJC playoffs and a possible bowl game. The Bulldogs led the nation in rushing with 368 yards per game.
"They made me feel like it was a family," Gooch said of Southeastern, a member of the Southland Conference who finished with a record of 6-5 this season. "It felt like they were running a family and not a business. They have my major (engineering) and have a brand new engineering building so it's worth it.
"It's a relief," he said of getting the recruiting process over with. "I feel like I've made the right decision. I feel like I'm going to have to work just as hard as I did at Holmes. Anywhere you go you are going to have to work hard."
Gooch said he enjoyed his two years at Holmes. "What I enjoyed most down there was playing alongside the offensive line," Gooch said. "The teachers there all care about their students succeeding. I can really tell that."
"It was a pretty good season," he said of this year's season. "Having Cam (Cameryn Brent, one of the top running backs in the country) behind us to make that happen was a blessing. I would think what made us so successful was Coach Stowers coaching us up to do exactly what we were supposed to do which was coming off the ball every single snap and hitting the bags every day. I have to give that to Coach Stowers.
"When we went to the bowl game it was really good experience that I was glad to be a part of with some good athletes that went on to some better places, too."
Gooch, a journeyman along the offensive front at Holmes, will play guard at Southeastern.