As the newest commitment, Poole gets priority when it comes to the recruit reports. All was quiet on the recruiting front before his announcement came along to brighten all of our moods.
Name: Brian Poole
High School: Southeast (Bradenton, FL)
Status: Verbally committed to Florida
Poole is one of the higher-ranked cornerbacks in the nation. According to Rivals, he is the nation’s No. 8 CB and No. 75 prospect overall. With his commitment, he becomes the second-highest rated recruit on Florida’s list behind only no. 49 Jessamen Dunker.
The first set of highlights is from Poole’s junior year and mixes in offense with defense. I’ll ignore the offensive side of the ball for now since Poole is coming to college as a defensive back. Who knows where he could be playing three years from now, but at the moment think CB. Feel free to watch the entire video, but be warned that after the first three minutes, it’s mostly Poole on offense. The second video is from his sophomore year, but shows more of his defensive prowess.
High school cornerbacks can get lost on run plays. It’s not because they don’t know what they are doing, but in the most basic of defensive schemes, they may be told to stay with their assignment. If that assignment is to cover a specific receiver, it’s hard to get them to drop that assignment and go after a ball carrier unless that runner is coming directly at them. Where Poole excels is at doing the exact opposite. He knows the field and is aware of his abilities. He appears to go up to meet runners in many situations and work on take them down before they gain too many yards.
Poole appears to know his limitations as well. He makes one big hit early in the first video and has a few more big tackles, but for the most part seems to try to take out the runners legs instead of meeting them straight on. Kids can get overconfident (we all can) and attempt to do too much at times, but if Poole’s one goal is to just bring down the ball carrier however he can do so, then he’s on the right path. Don’t take the chance of getting bowled over; instead bring the guy down and ensure he’s not gaining any more yards. It’s always a pleasant surprise to see a cornerback with solid tackling skills.
Also in Poole’s arsenal is a healthy awareness of the ball when it’s in the air. Although he appears to not be in a position to make a play on the ball initially in certain instances, he has the ability to adjust himself quickly and make a play even if he wasn’t necessarily the defender in line to do so. While his jumping ability doesn’t, well, jump out at you, he does beat several receivers when the ball is in the air. It may not be his superior athletic ability in every instance, but instead his knowledge of where to position himself to have the greatest chance to intercept or, at the very least, knock down the ball.
A pickup like Poole is a big one. As evidenced by how many defensive backs have left the program for one reason or another over recent years, it’s easy to see how you can never have enough. Poole is a big-time prospect and someone who should fit into the college game and more specifically the SEC nicely. He knows his game and uses his talents accordingly. Poole is someone you can put on one side of the field and not worry about. He could be someone that is worked into the defense quickly upon his arrival in Gainesville.