Draft Scout Snapshot: 2010: Earned AP All-SEC honorable mention accolades while starting all 13 games ... led the team with 1,034 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 204 carries … also caught 22 passes for 171 yards and one TD ... topped Vols with 12 total touchdowns and 72 points ... rushed for a career-high 162 yards vs. Oregon, including a 140-yard first-half effort ... became first individual to rush for over 100 yards against Alabama in 41 games with 117 rushing yards against the Tide, including a career-long 59-yard TD run. 2009: Played 13 games, totalling 86 rushing yards on 12 carries and making contributions on special teams … 62 of those yards came on five attempts in season-opener vs. Western Kentucky, including 34-yarder … also carried three times for nifty 15 yards in Chick-fil-A Bowl against Virginia Tech. 2008: Played 12 games on special teams and as backup tailback … Rushed for 86 yards on 22 carries … Recorded four special teams tackles during the year.
Tauren Poole/Tennessee football Videos
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Poole was a three-star running back out of high school, choosing Tennessee over Auburn, South Carolina and Clemson.
He saw action as a true freshman backup in 2008, recording 86 yards on 22 carries (3.9). Poole was again a reserve in 2009 as a sophomore, finishing with 85 yards on 10 rushes (8.5).
He started all 13 games in 2010 as a junior and had his best season, recording a team-high 1,034 yards on 204 carries (5.1) and 11 touchdowns, adding 22 catches for 171 yards (7.8) and one touchdown, earning All-SEC Honorable Mention honors.
Poole broke onto the scene as a junior, starting all 12 games. He became the 15th player to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark in single season for Tennessee and had the only 100-yard rushing performance against Alabama's defense in a 58-game span.
However, he had an uninspiring 2011 season as the only senior starter on offense and produced inconsistent stats on the ground. He finished with 693 yards on 187 carries (3.7) and five touchdowns, adding 21 receptions for 164 yards (7.8).
Poole is an average athlete with good footwork, but doesn't possess any special or distinguishing qualities and looks like a borderline draftable running back.
Strengths: Balanced runner with average athleticism and agility. He has a thick lower half with solid build throughout his frame. Poole is a physical runner and hits the hole with authority, lowering his head and picking up the tough yards. He runs with good pad level and always seems to be falling forward for positive yardage. Poole has quick feet with good vision to pick through defenses. He has solid hands and body control as a reliable pass catcher.
Weaknesses: Poole needs to show better patience to allow blocks to develop and is too often running up the backs of his blockers. He isn't naturally explosive as a runner and lacks elusiveness in the open field. Poole doesn't possess any dynamic qualities. He needs a few steps to get going with limited burst and foot speed. Poole has an inconsistent feel eluding tacklers and doesn't create a lot on his own. He doesn't display much power to push the pile or consistently break tackles. Marginal base strength in pass protection and no experience as a return man. He had a few injuries, most notably a tender hamstring, that caused him to miss some playing time. Poole had a subpar senior season, failing to match his numbers from 2010 and was benched at times due to ineffectiveness.
NFL Comparison: Lance Ball, Denver Broncos
-- Dane Brugler
Games/Starts: 12/12..Lone senior starting on offense, one of just 13 on the roster..Leading rusher with 693 yards in 12 games (57.8 per game) with five touchdowns..Had 21 catches for 164 yards..Finished career with 32 rushing yards and three catches for 12 yards at Kentucky (11/26)..Third 100-yard rushing game of season vs. Vanderbilt (11/19) with season-best 107 yards on 19 carries. Scored on a 1-yard TD rush and had three catches for 21 yards..Ran for 41 yards and had two catches for 16 yards at #8 Arkansas (11/12)..Fourth-career two-touchdown game vs. MTSU (11/5) as he gained 13 rushing yards along with 28 receiving yards..Against the nation's top defense, ran for 67 yards at #2 Alabama (10/22), also had three catches for 10 yards..Ran for 70 yards vs. #1 LSU (10/15), most rushing yards vs. the top-ranked Tigers all season..Eighth-career 100-yard game, second of 2011 with 101 vs. Buffalo (10/1) on 17 carries, also made a 32-yard reception..Seventh-career 100-yard rushing game with 101 vs. Cincinnati (9/10) on 21 carries..Ran for 98 yards including 8-yd. TD vs. Montana (9/3) on career-high tying 24 carries.
Games/Starts: 13/13. Earned AP All-SEC honorable mention accolades while starting all 13 games at tailback. In first full season as the main rusher for the Vols, Poole rushed for 1,034 yards and 11 touchdowns on 204 carries and caught 22 passes for 171 yards and one TD. Recorded six 100-yard games, tied for the SEC lead. Rushed for the 16th 1,000-yard season all-time at UT and was the 15th tailback to log a 1,000-yard season. 1,034 yards ranks as the 14th-most in an individual season in UT history. Ranked eighth in the SEC with 79.5 rushing yards per game. Led team with 12 total touchdowns and 72 points. 16 plays of 20-plus yards ranked second on the team. Second UT running back in the last decade to notch six 100-yard rushing games in the same season. In just his second career start, rushed for a career-high 162 yards vs. Oregon, including a 140-yard first-half effort that ranks as the seventh most by a UT running back in an opening half all-time. Became the first individual to rush for over 100 yards against Alabama in 41 games with 117 rushing yards against the Tide, including a career-long 59-yard TD run to help put UT ahead 7-0. In first career start, rushed for 110 yards and two TDs on 17 carries in three quarters vs. UT Martin. First career TD came on a 24-yard breakaway to give the Vols a 20-0 lead vs. the Skyhawks. Posted 101 yards rushing, a career-high 50 receiving yards and two total TDs at Memphis. Used a personal-best reception of 41 yards to set up first career TD catch vs. the Tigers. Tallied 107 yards on just 12 carries (8.9 ypc) and reached the end zone multiple times for the third straight game vs. Mississippi with TD runs of 36 and 35 yards. Carried the ball a career-high 24 times at LSU for 109 yards and added a one-yard rushing TD. Caught a career-high four passes for 16 yards while rushing 11 times for 40 yards in Music City Bowl vs. North Carolina. Totaled at least three receptions four times in 2010 (UO, UF, USC, UNC). Registered 99 rushing yards at Vanderbilt. Notched 59 yards on the ground vs. Kentucky and found the end zone for UT's go-ahead TD to give the Vols the lead for good, 21-14. Plunged into the end zone on third-and-goal from two yards out at Georgia for UT's lone second-half score. Left early with a thigh injury vs. UAB.
Games/Starts: 13/0. Though time on offense was limited, found ways to contribute via special teams. Still managed to total 86 rushing yards on 12 carries. Had 62 of those yards came on five attempts in season-opener. Season-long carry of 34 yards came against Western Kentucky. Closed strongly as well, carrying three times for nifty 15 yards in Chick-fil-A Bowl against Virginia Tech.
Games/Starts: 12/0. Saw majority of action on special teams and as backup tailback. Recorded four special teams tackles. Rushed nine times for 43 yards against UAB. Had career-highs in attempts (11) and yards (44) against Wyoming. Also caught his first collegiate pass in that game against the Cowboys.
Enrolled at UT in January 2008 and participated in spring drills. Twice named player of the year by various media outlets, including Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail in 2007. Set school career rushing (5,519) and touchdown (79) records during four-year career. Rushed for 5,413 of those record-setting yards during final three varsity seasons. Finished with 2,138 rushing yards during senior campaign, 1,925 yards as junior and 1,350 rushing yards sophomore season. Helped Stephens County to three consecutive region titles. His high school coach, Travis Noland, previously was former Vols quarterback Jonathan Crompton's high school coach in Waynesville, N.C. Member of Academic All-State team. Coach at Stephens County High School - Travis Noland.
Draft Scout Player News
03/17/12 - The University of Tennessee hosted Pro Timing Day on Friday afternoon at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center, as 10 former Vols showcased their abilities in front of 21 NFL scouts. Among the former Vols that participated were Anthony Anderson, Art Evans, Nick Guess, Malik Jackson, Austin Johnson, Ben Martin, Tauren Poole, Chip Rhome, Matt Simms and Daryl Vereen. For most of that unit, Pro Day is what they had been training for since the end of their playing careers at Tennessee. For Jackson and Poole - who earned NFL Combine invites - it was another chance to highlight their attributes. But for all 10 former Vols, it was a chance to come home. "This is calmer," Poole said, comparing it to his NFL Combine experience in late February. "You are not as nervous. I have been here, I'm used to it, I'm comfortable and I know everybody. At the combine, you don't' know people and you don't know what to expect. Here, I know what to expect and I am more familiar with this place." Overall, the former Vols were pleased with their performances, including Martin, who spent six weeks at St. Vincent's in Indianapolis to prepare. "I felt like I did pretty well," Martin said. "I showed that I was healthy and that I could do everything. I'm pretty comfortable with it. Now, I just need somebody to take a chance on me." The NFL Draft, which takes place April 26-28, will witness 32 teams taking chances to improve their futures. Johnson hopes he's one of them. "I got a lot of good feedback," Johnson said. "Teams seemed interested in me and wanted to talk more. I think I opened some eyes today to people maybe not looking at me until today. I felt good about the day. I felt strong. I just hope and pray for the best." - Tennessee football
01/21/12 - EAST-WEST SHRINE WEDNESDAY: RB Tauren Poole, Tennessee: After a slow start, Poole has really separated himself as the top running back on either squad. He runs with low pad level and quickness through the line of scrimmage, routinely getting to the second level. Poole had an up-and-down 2011 campaign, which is why he isn't at the Senior Bowl, but he has been running tough, decisive and quick with smooth acceleration in practices. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com