Goeas opens process up

Life was good for Colton Goeas; the 6-foot-2, 241-pound middle linebacker prospect from the Saint Louis School in Honolulu already knew where he wanted to go to college during the summer so that meant he could put all his concentration toward his senior season. But in November he was leveled with a cruel reality and caught up in the coaching crossfire that hits around this time every year.

Tennessee Head Coach Derek Dooley was fired in mid-November after a 4-7 year and 15-21 in three years during his stay in Knoxville. With Dooley let go, Goeas is thinking again about the process and what it means for him.

"We're going to start from scratch and open things up," said Goeas' father Leo, who played offensive line for Hawaii and also in the NFL for eight seasons, adding that new Tennessee Head Coach Butch Jones has agreed with the family to let Colton explore other possibilities.

"The whole staff aside from one guy (running backs coach Jay Graham) was not retained," added Leo. "The commitment would have been there if not for that. With all the complete overhaul and tremendous uncertainty over what's going to become of it, we want to make it known publicly that (Colton) is exploring any and all options as far as where he's going to be.

"Basically (Tennessee) are still assessing the situation and they haven't given us really anything that we can sink our teeth into. Rather than let more time elapse, I just think it was in our best interests to go public in this fashion to get the word out to other schools that had interest in Colton in the summer. Right now they haven't been talking to him because the commitment was still on record."

His recruiting coach at the time, OL Coach Sam Pittman, has taken a similar position at Arkansas. In a bit of a strange twist, Goeas wasn't the only Saint Louis player committed to Tennessee for the 2013 class; one of their offensive linemen, Reeve Koehler, was also planning on playing there. Now both futures are up in the air.

"He is very interested in checking Arkansas out as well," Koehler told Dudley Dawson of Hawgsillustrated.com, adding that he plans on taking an official visit to Fayetteville in January. "We both have great respect for coach Pittman."

Does that mean Goeas will join Koehler on that official visit? "There's nothing definitive yet for Colton," Leo said when asked specifically about Arkansas. "(Pittman) knows Colton very well and got to bond with Colton. He's going to see if there's any interest for Colton with Arkansas.

Kansas, Oregon and UCLA made contact with Goeas once Dooley was fired but Pittman and his position coach - Sal Sunseri - were still in Knoxville at the time. Pittman was hired by Arkansas Thursday.

"He was interested in Kansas," Leo said of his son. "I would say at that point in time that's where he was leaning toward (before committing to Tennessee). Just the whole thing with Charlie Weis being there and the coach that had been recruiting him - he developed a good bond and relationship with him over the phone. He was feeling very comfortable there."

For Goeas, it's not just a matter of looking for a team that needs to fill a need at middle linebacker. He's also reaching back out to those teams he was comfortable with before he made his public commitment known. "He's open and wants to…he still has a great interest in Kansas and we've had a great dialog with them but it's been pretty quiet because of the commitment so we thought it was the right thing to open the thing up," Leo said, matter-of-factly. "I hate to do it in December, but I'd rather do it in December than January."

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