2011 Countdown: #73 Antonio Poole

2011 Countdown: #73 Antonio Poole

June 19, 2011
Antonio Poole

Name: Antonio Poole
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 215 lbs.
High school: Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati, OH
Position: Linebacker
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #40
Last year: Poole was a high school senior (commitment post here)

TTB Rating: 82

Poole is one of the most exciting prospects in the 2011 class for Michigan, because he offers a glimpse into the “old ways” of Michigan football.  He’s a weakside linebacker who’s a little on the small side, but he’s a good blitzer and can run a little bit.  Weakside linebackers in Greg Mattison’s defense are players who have little responsibility other than “see ball, get ball.”  As soon as Mattison was hired, he made it a point to visit Poole and push for a commitment, which showed that Mattison really wanted Poole.

I think Poole might be ready to get on the field immediately, even if it’s only on kick coverage.  He’s the type of downhill linebacker that Michigan fans ought to be excited about, and he could even work his way into some reps if some of the upperclassman WILLs don’t play well early in the season.

Prediction: Special teams contributor; backup linebacker


  1. Comments: 21383
    Painter Smurf
    Jun 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    I am pumped about Poole too. LB depth is about as weak as I can ever remember. It's possible the position group was worse right after Dave Harris left. Anyway, it's a good situation for a young LB to walk into. I read somewhere that Poole was up to 220 lbs. Though undersized, he is already thicker than a couple of the returnees (M Jones, C Gordon). With all of the 2012 LB's coming, I expect the coaches to play Poole and K Jones liberally unless they are truly overwhelmed. They are looking for a back-up at Mike, but the starting spot at Will seems to be wide open.

  2. Comments: 21383
    Jun 20, 2011 at 3:37 AM

    Are you gonna go back and rate the ones you didn't? Or did I miss where you laid out who you're gonna rate and who you aren't?

  3. Comments: 21383
    Jun 20, 2011 at 3:38 AM

    Well, if all the hype for the '12 linebackers is true, Poole will have a hard time living up to his rank from the bench.

    I think you're right about Poole getting used for special teams. The big recruiting haul is a little extra excuse to let the athletic young see the field early and contribute in any way they can. Then again, there isn't really a shortage of quality special team types.

  4. Comments: 21383
    Jun 20, 2011 at 5:50 AM

    Poole and Jones are very similar in my book. I would like one to RS if possible. We have a ton of midsize guys to run down kicks. Jones may be the better choice to avoid concussion issues.

    Both Poole and Jones are instinctively one step ahead of Demens and Evans – but they don't have their bulk. It would be sad if we had to pull one these guys in early and they were to get injured. They don't seem to respect their bodies that much – which is a good trait for MLB.

  5. Comments: 21383
    Jun 20, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    Do you think Poole is going to be caught by the LBs from this next class or do you think he should allow some of those kids to RS and get a two year separation between them?

  6. Comments: 21383
    Jun 20, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    @ KB 11:55 a.m.

    I think it's going to be hard to keep a couple of those 2012 linebackers off the field, especially Ross and Jenkins-Stone. Keep in mind that Herron and Evans will be gone after this year, then we'll lose a couple more after 2012. So it would be nice to get those kids a few snaps before they have to step into starting roles. That's why I think Poole and Jones have a good chance to play a little bit this year.

    Coaches don't really seem to redshirt good players who can be on the two-deep. Poole, Jones, Ross, and Jenkins-Stone all have a chance to be on the two-deep as freshmen, in my opinion.

  7. Comments: 21383
    Jun 26, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    Hey Thunder, I think you can take this part of Poole’s write up:

    "I think Poole might be ready to get on the field immediately, even if it's only on kick coverage. He's the type of downhill linebacker that Michigan fans ought to be excited about, and he could even work his way into some reps”

    And say the same thing about Desmond Morgan regarding the MLB position. One of the things young LB’s struggle with at the collegiate level is taking on and shedding blockers. Desmond’s highlight reel showed a lot of him taking on blockers. He also lined up a lot 4-5 yards off the line of scrimmage and attacked moving down hill.

    My guess is Desmond will be the first of the 2011 LB’s to get meaningful snaps on D.

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