William Poole, one of the state’s top prospects for next year, is set to visit UGA next week and the 4-star cornerback says the Bulldogs will “definitely” be among his leading schools when he reveals his list in December.
“They have a great football staff, great football players, a great football program,” said Poole, a rising junior at Hapeville Charter high school. “I’ve been a UGA fan ever since I was young, and they were the first team that ever offered me.”
Poole will journey back to UGA’s campus next Friday after missing “Dawg Night” on June 18 because of a pre-planned family vacation. He told the coaching staff he would not be in attendance prior to the event, and purposely rescheduled his visit for next Friday when UGA players return for camp. Poole says it’ll be an important visit to establish more rapport with Bulldogs defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
“I want to get up there and hang out with those guys and get to know Coach Pruitt a little better,” Poole told the AJC.
“The closest coach I’m with has to be (receivers coach) Bryan McClendon. He’s the one that’s come by my school all those times in the past. But I want to get a closer relationship with Coach Pruitt since he’s my position coach as well as get to know where they see me in their defense.”
The 6-foot, 170-pound junior says UGA envisions him playing multiple positions, including both safety and nickel corner. Although he’s striving to play on the perimeter at the next level, Poole says he would be perfectly comfortable at any position.
Hapeville’s head coach, Winston Gordon, echoes those same sentiments.
“I’m just being honest – William Poole can play anywhere in the country,” Gordon told the AJC. “I’ve coached around and I’ve never seen a kid with that type of range and instincts. He’ll fit in anywhere in the country.”
Poole, who’s visited Clemson, Alabama, Auburn and others this summer, says his trip to UGA next week could very well be his final one before school starts, though he is considering a possible visit to Auburn again. Regardless, he admits that he’s far off from anointing anyone as his No. 1.
“I don’t really have a leader,” Poole said. “I’m wide open with everybody.”
Glenn Ford, who trains Poole at i-DareU, offered up his perspective, suggesting that UGA’s proximity and interest in him since his sophomore year hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“It’s a hard judgment with Will,” said Ford. “He likes Georgia. That’s something you’d see him wear even before he got recruited, so you know he likes the school. Again, it’s close to home. He’s an in-state kid, and to be honest with you, it’d be crazy for Georgia to let him get out of state.”
UGA will have its chance next week.
— By Charles Kingsbury, Special for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution