Cincinnati Linebacker Aware Of UI Tradition

The University of Illinois has a rich tradition of great linebackers. The current linebacking corps is one of the strongest and deepest in recent history, and Illini coaches are looking to add to it. One prospect from the state of Ohio that coaches are targeting fits the mold and has strong interest in the program.

Antonio Poole, a 6'2" 210 pound linebacker, is no stranger to winning. A key contributor to Cincinnati Winton Woods's state championship run in 2009, Poole is seeking to repeat this coming year. It's no surprise that Poole is looking for a successful college program as well.

"My top goal is to lead my team to another state championship. We won last year. I'm looking for a winning program, somewhere I can win. Plus, I want to be able to contribute to the team early."

Poole not only has the physical abilities to be a successful linebacker, but also the attitude to play like a winner.

"I'm fearless. I play each down like it's my last, and I don't care who I'm going against. I watch a lot of Rolando McClain and Ray Lewis. My speed, my closing ability, and my athleticism are good.

"Some people think I don't have technique but my tackling is still pretty good in the open field. I run a 4.6 second 40 yard dash. I bench 300 and squat 465."

Being a state champion, Poole and his Winton Woods team will be targeted even more during the season. Poole knows what he needs to do to elevate his game to the next level.

"My biggest thing right now is my strength and my speed. I need to get better at fighting through traffic."

Poole has heard and received offers from multiple major programs. Among his top schools are Cincinnati, Purdue, Illinois, Kentucky, Wake Forest, Kansas, and Louisville.

Illinois is strongly pursuing the linebacker, who is well aware of the Illini linebacker tradition.

"I just know that their program has a lot of good linebackers in the history of the school. Talking to the coaches, they said that if I work hard I could be one of the greats. I've been talking to coach Zook. Coach Zook is a cool guy, I like him a lot."

Poole is looking to further narrow his school choices down a bit in the near future, but as for a decision, he is still unsure.

"Right now I really don't know. I'll probably take some officials, but if I find the place for me I'll commit."

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