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USC Football Recruiting

Elite 4-Star DB Jaeden Gould Says USC Official Visit "Just Blew Me Away"

June 7, 2021

One of the talented prospects who visited Los Angeles this past weekend was elite 4-Star DB Jaeden Gould‍. Normally it's somewhat of a surprise for USC to get a highly rated kid from New Jersey to visit  USC, but it's routine for Donte Williams to convince guys he’s pursuing to visit from all over the nation. In fact, 5-Star Cornerbacks William Johnson‍ and Gentry Williams‍ will visit this month. Elite 4-Star CB Earl Little Jr.‍ will also take an official visit to USC in June.

Scott Schrader caught up with Jaeden Gould to talk about his USC official visit and more!

Q&A With Scott Schrader

SS: How did you end up choosing USC for an official visit?

JG: Definitely, my relationship with Coach Donte. Over the phone is great, I wanted to get out there and him in person, meet the players and staff in person.  Get a feel for Los Angeles and just USC as a whole, as a program.

SS: What were you able to get from this visit that had would have an impact on your visit?

JG: Everything about the visit. I definitely had big expectations going into it, it just blew me away. From the people, relationship with the coaches, with players, I really fit in with them. Coach Donte, as well, his energy is great. He’s a great coach and he’s teaching me things in the little time we had there on my game. All the coaches have energy and have positive vibes. Those are the type of coaches I want to be around.

SS: Who was your host?

JG: Chris Steele, he’s a great guy. He’s really funny and I feel like we definitely created a friendship. He told me to hit him up if I had any questions. He helped me out with a bunch of stuff and he’s a really cool dude.

SS: In your words, what is it about Donte?

JG: He’s always himself, he’s never going to say anything to you that he doesn’t mean. He’s got great energy, he’s a great guy and I feel like I have a different relationship with him. In-person, I was able to see the genuine guy he is. I know he’s a great coach and going to develop me but even outside the football element, you can talk to him about anything.

SS: What were some of the selling points that USC was trying to provide you guys?

JG: The location, and getting a degree from there means a lot. The people who graduated from there are looking out. Building a brand, there’s no better place than Los Angeles, it’s the place you want to be for NIL. If you do well on the field you're going to be set up well.

SS: I'm assuming Bryan Carrington showed you the presentation for that.

JG: Yeah, it was really mind blown by the information. He showed us different information. USC compared to other schools in football when it comes to money and marketing, USC blows them away in terms of location and the people that graduated from there.

SS: What are some things that USC can do for you guys that will help you with NIL?

JG: The social media aspect, being in Los Angeles. The population there plays a big part in there and where USC is located compared to some of the other schools, it helps a lot.

SS: What other schools do you have lined up? 

JG: I’m visiting Penn State this weekend. I think I’ll make a decision before the football season.

SS: How’re you feeling with USC the football program?

JG: Defensively, they’re at a top-level. I have extreme confidence that they’re going to bring USC to that top level.

SS: Have you been able to develop a relationship with Coach Helton?

JG: Yeah, that was one of the biggest things for me. Coach Helton and my parents, building that family bond with them. Great guy, a really down-to-earth coach.

SS: USC, opposite side of the world almost in terms of going to college, did you all leave USC feeling comfortable?

JG: Definitely, that was one of the biggest things for them, feeling it out, my parents definitely liked It a lot.

SS: Academically, is there something at USC that interests you?

JG: Definitely, we had a meeting with an academic advisor, they will never leave you hanging when it comes to academics. I would say just the way they set up tutoring. They put the players in the best players to succeed from an academic standpoint.

SS: I'm curious, you’ve visited some schools, were USC’s facilities a bit of a letdown? Is it big deal?

JG: It's definitely different, Donte already told me about that before I got out there. It's less about the facilities and more about the people and staff that will be helping you.

SS: I was talking to Shawn Preston, Shazz’s dad, did you get to see some cool things in LA?

JG: Definitely, Hollywood Sign, Rodeo Drive, Staples Center, that type of stuff. Shazz was cool, recruiting wise that’s who I was hanging out with most recruiting-wise. We built a friendship.

SS: How was SoFi stadium?

JG: Crazy, we got to eat dinner there and I don’t think there’s a place that can compete with that.

SS: Did you get out to any cool restaurants?

JG: Some places, the food was really great at every place.

SS: Any chance you could go back to USC?

JG: Definitely, maybe in season for a game.

SS: Do you have anything else scheduled?

JG: I have Penn State this weekend.



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