Zaviar Gooden, OLB

School: Missouri  |  Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Pflugerville, TX
Height/Weight: 6-2 / 234 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
2012 Season
(Entering 2012) One of the more athletic specimens to ever play the linebacker position at Mizzou, who is poised for a big senior season in his 3rd year as a starter ... Begins fall ball lined up atop the depth chart at the weakside spot, where he started all 13 games in 2011 ... Earned his undergraduate degree from MU's Trulaske College of Business this past May, meaning he'll play the 2012 season as a graduate student.
2011 Season
Had a solid junior campaign at the WLB spot, starting all 13 games and ranking 3rd on the team with 80 tackles, including a team-best 54 solo stops ... Led all Tigers with nine tackles against Arizona State in week two, all solo ... recorded his first sack of the season, dropping Brock Osweiler for a loss of three yards in the final two minutes ... blocked an Arizona State extra point in the second quarter ... was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts against the Sun Devils ... had eight tackles at Oklahoma, seven of which were solo with the other being assisted tackle for loss ... also recorded a pass breakup against the Sooners ... racked up six tackles, including an assisted tackle for loss against Kansas State ... led all Tigers with nine tackles against Oklahoma State ... had 1.5 tackles for loss against the Cowboys, totaling four yards, and also broke up a pass ... had three solo and three assisted tackles against Texas A&M ... had six total tackles at Baylor, including one for a six yard loss ... had six tackles against Texas ... broke up two passes against Texas Tech and had nine total tackles ... finished tied for the team lead with seven tackles and also had an interception, picking off a pass batted at the line by teammate Dominique Hamilton early in the first quarter ... Closed the season with a 6-tackle outing in the Independence Bowl, which included 1.5 TFLs, and an interception for the 2nd-straight game...
2010 Season
Emerged as one of the top playmakers for the Tiger defense, as he led the team with 85 tackles in his first year as a starter, playing on a unit which was one of the most improved defenses in the nation during 2010 ... Was very consistent throughout the season, as he had no less than 5 tackles in every game against FBS competition, and he accounted for 5 turnovers in all, including 2 recovered fumbles, 2 interceptions and 1 forced fumble while notching 7.5 tackles for loss and 3 QB sacks in all ... Tied for second on the team with eight tackles in the season opener against Illinois ... Started at linebacker against UI, his first career start ... Made five tackles in the win over San Diego State ... Had seven stops against Miami (Ohio) ... Also had a fumble recovery against the RedHawks ... Made eight tackles against Colorado ... Included in the eight tackles was two TFLs and one sack ... Added a pass break-up against CU ... Tied for the team lead with an eight-tackle performance against Texas A&M ... Made his first career interception against Oklahoma ... The INT came in the fourth quarter, helping MU put away the Sooners ... Added five tackles against OU ... Tied for second on the team with seven tackles against Nebraska ... Had three TFLs against the Huskers, including two sacks ... Made seven tackles, including one for a loss against Texas Tech ... Picked off a pass and returned it 10 yards, for his second INT of 2010 ... Also had three pass break-ups against the Red Raiders ... Made nine tackles and had 1.5 TFLs against Kansas State.
2009 Season
Saw his first action as a Tiger after moving down to the linebackers over the summer, after spending the spring at his traditional safety position ... Saw action in all 13 games and really started to hit his stride toward the latter part of the season, as he had three or more tackles in six of MU's last seven ballgames ... Finished with 30 tackles on the year, including three tackles for loss ... Also did a great job in the classroom, as he earned First-Team Academic All-Big 12 honors for his efforts ... Made three tackles against Furman, including one TFL ... Had a then-career-best four tackles against Nevada and recorded two stops in the Oklahoma State game ... Tied his career high with four tackles against Texas ... Made three tackles (all solos) against Colorado on Oct. 31 ... Also recovered a fumble in the win over CU ... Had one pass-break-up against Baylor on Nov. 7 ... Made five tackles against Kansas State to set a new career best ... Also forced a key fumble on the one-yard line that went out of the endzone resulting in a touchback for Missouri ... Had three tackles in both the Iowa State and Kansas games ... Had three tackles in the spring game from the safety position.
2008 Season
Worked hard as part of the Tiger defensive scout team ... Twice was named the defense's Back-Up Player of the Week - for his efforts in practice prior to Mizzou's games against Oklahoma State and Kansas.
High School
Rated as the nation's No. 32 safety prospect by Rivals, as well as the No. 56 overall player (any position) in the state of Texas ... Was also a standout running back for Pflugerville, as he rushed for 1,128 yards and nine TDs ... Played a major role on his team which went 12-4 in 2007 and finished as 5A state runners up ... Won district all-purpose player of the year honors in 2007, and was also a First-Team All-District safety and Second-Team All-District running back ... Had two INTs and a fumble recovery on defense ... Was a Second-Team All-District defensive back as a junior in 2006 ... Also rushed for 800 yards and 10 TDs on offense ... Notched 50 tackles and added two INTs and a forced fumble on defense as a sophomore for Pflugerville ... High school coach - George Herrman.
Parents Maury & Tonia Gooden ... Has an interest in studying entrepreneurship in MU's College of Business ... Spent time volunteering in his local PALS program, as well as the Ready, Set, Teach program ... Chose Mizzou over Oklahoma, Purdue, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Texas Tech and Iowa State, among others.
Latest News
03/08/2013 - 2013 Missouri Pro Day: As for Gooden, he was so good at the Combine, he probably could've done nothing more than play meet-and-greet with the NFL team representative on hand Thursday. His sizzling 40 time of 4.47 in Indy was tops among linebackers. In fact, in every timed drill at the Combine, Gooden was fastest among the linebackers. But he wasn't happy with his vertical jump in Indianapolis, so he gave that another try at Mizzou, with great results. "I increased my vertical from the Combine by 4?? inches _ that was pretty good," Gooden said.

His leap of 38?? inches drew a grasp from spectators at the Mizzou indoor facility, prompting someone to ask Gooden if he's in the wrong sport. Maybe he should be pursuing a basketball career. "No, I gave that up a long time ago," Gooden said, laughing.

Bowden from the Rams' coaching staff ran the linebacker drills for Gooden, drills which emphasized pass drops, moving in space, as well as some tight bag work. By now, every personnel department in the NFL knows how fast Gooden runs when it comes to straightline speed, but how are his instincts? What about his change of direction? "I had fun doing the drills," Gooden said. "I felt like I looked fluid in them."

Before Thursday, Gooden said he met with Rams officials at the Combine and the Senior Bowl. "So I developed a relationship with them," Gooden said. Gooden said he already has workouts scheduled with Carolina, Chicago, and New England; Richardson said Cleveland is coming to Columbia next week to work him out. - Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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