Over the next 25 days, Gator Country will preview the players that make up the 2013 Florida Gators football team as we inch closer and closer to the season.
Each day we will count down using the player whose jersey number corresponds with how many days there are left until Florida kicks off against Toledo in the Swamp on August 31.
Today we take a look at two players, Matt Jones earlier and now, sophomore defensive back Brian Poole.
Poole was a highly rated and recruited defensive back out of Southeast High School in Bradenton, Florida. He chose Florida over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame and South Carolina.
As a freshman, Poole played in 12-of-13 games, mainly as a special teams player.
Poole is a very physical, athletic defensive back. He excels playing underneath and will likely play nickel for the Gators this season. Poole is at his best when playing at the line of scrimmage, he is strong against the run and can cover slot receivers as well.
Poole is a good tackler and delivers a solid hit when he meets the ball carrier. He plays with a high motor and pursues plays very well.
Poole is a little stiff in the hips and not the true cover corner that Florida needs to play press and run with receivers. He is more quick than fast and lacks the top-end speed you like to see in a cornerback in man-to-man coverage.
What to Expect
Poole is projected to start at nickel back for the Gators, which means you’ll see a lot of him this season. Will Muschamp estimated that the Gators play in nickel or dime packages 80% of the time their defense is on the field. That is just the nature of playing against teams that spread the field and use a lot of pass-heavy sets.
Poole will likely continue to be a special teams stand out while also starting at nickel.