Huskers with huge pickup of DB Jaeden Gould the day before ESD
Sometimes it's good to have a trusted source to give you honest feedback when you are considering attending a college to play football for the next several years, and such was the case with four-star defensive back recruit Jaeden Gould.
The Oradell (NJ) Bergen Catholic product leaned on former high school teammate, and current Husker running back, Rahmir Johnson, to give him the straight scoop about Nebraska, and it ended up with Gould committing to the Huskers over Penn State the day before the early NCAA national signing day begins.
"I just felt like I had the longest relationship with them since I visited with them the summer going into my sophomore year," Gould stated as his reason for committing to Nebraska. "I really enjoyed my official visit there a couple weeks ago as well. I had a familiar feeling while I was there with the coaches and players, and it just felt like home.
"I have a teammate there who I am really close with, Rahmir, and he told good things about them. He was my player host and he told me they really love their football there, so everybody's going to look out for you. There's no professional football team there, so Nebraska football is really the big thing.
"If you do what you're supposed to do, you're going to be known and everyone's going to love you. He just told me they are on the come-up. If you look at this past season, they pretty much competed with every top team in the Big Ten, and even in the Big 12 with Oklahoma. I personally feel like they are right there and on the brink of success, and I feel like I can make a difference for them."
Nebraska assistant coach Mike Dawson, who covers the New Jersey area recruiting for the Huskers, has stayed on Gould for the past several years.
"They came to my school a couple times, so I thought I would check them out for myself to see what it was like," Gould said. "I developed a really good relationship with Coach Dawson throughout my four years of recruitment. I'm definitely familiar with him."
NU defensive backs coach Travis Fisher was also instrumental in landing Gould in this class.
"I had a really great time with him throughout the weekend of my official visit, just watching film and chopping things up with him," Gould shared. "He's a really cool dude, and he knows what he's doing from a football aspect.
"One of the other pitches Coach (Scott) Frost told me was the opportunity aspect of it. I mean, there's not a lot of DBs there on scholarship on the roster right now, so I really have a chance to come in and make an impact early."
As they do with most defensive back recruits, the Husker coaches told Gould they would try him out at all five secondary positions to find the best fit for him and to get him on the field the earliest.
"I think I am versatile," Gould said, while adding, "I can play corner, safety or in the slot. I'm not afraid of contact, and that's a big thing in the Big Ten with tackling all the good running backs. I feel like I can do both: I can cover and I can tackle, and that's the biggest thing coaches are attracted by. I feel like my knowledge of the game is definitely up there as well."
After his senior campaign, Gould was named first-team all-state in New Jersey, as well as first-team all-county. He was also honored as the Max Preps New Jersey Player of the Year in 2021.
He initially pledged to USC, but opened his recruitment again when they had a head coaching change.
"I committed to them because of the relationship I had with coach Donte (Williams) and their whole staff," Gould said. "I really enjoyed my time visiting there, their location, and things of that nature. But with their coach getting fired, I think that everything happens for a reason."
Gould will be signing with Nebraska Wednesday morning, and he will be an early enrollee in Lincoln in time for winter conditioning and spring practice.
"I just want to leave a legacy there," Gould said. "Honestly, I feel like this is the perfect opportunity for me to do that because these next couple of years I can be a part of helping to turn things around. We can turn the corner and become a top level program in the Big Ten.
"That's really my goal team-wise. And, personally, my individual goals are to make an impact as soon as I get there and, hopefully, be three years and done. That's the plan for me and, obviously, I feel like I can do that. I just want to get better every year, every game, every practice. That's really how you achieve that goal."