February 9, 2010

Winton Woods talent Poole collecting offers

Antonio Poole, Winton Woods High School junior, feels the interest level rising. Just after his fifth scholarship offer came in he reflected on the recruiting process. Where it has been and where it is likely to go.

"UC, Louisville, Indiana, Minnesota, and Bowling Green," said Poole in reference to the offers in his back pocket. "Hopefully I get an offer from Alabama."

Poole is one of the best outside linebackers in the state of Ohio, often seen as a top ten OLB in the nation. Living in Cincinnati makes him an obvious target to the new coaching staff. In the short term the more times they can host the star athlete the better.

"I did the UC junior day," said Poole. "It was pretty good. I liked it. I talked to Chris Williams and Maalik Bomar."

Both players attended the same high school as Poole. Needless to say he is familiar with the program.

However, there was a time when UC stood very little chance of interesting the rising junior in attending.

"It did [bother me] at first until I met the new staff," said Poole. "When I heard Kelly was gone I took Cincy off my board. But when I met the new staff I started to think about them again."

This temporary concern is not an uncommon reaction to Kelly's departure. Many recruits stopped considering UC in his wake. In fact, Poole's teammate senior Dominique Brown opted out of his UC commitment for Louisville.

On Signing Day Coach Butch Jones discussed the travails of re-recruiting players in such a short time span. Where his staff can show their true recruiting chops is in the junior class. They have the full year to make the hard sell.

"The first thing is we want to work within a 100 mile radius of the city of Cincinnati," said Coach Jones.

The epicenter of the local effort should be Division II State Champion LB Antonio Poole.

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