Tailback Tauren Poole was seemingly pushed to the back of the pack under former Tennessee head football coach Lane Kiffin, but with a new sheriff in town Poole is eager to advantage of new opportunities.
"I just have to have that drive. I love to run the football," said Poole. "I said that last year, but I just have to take it for what it is and just take everything as an opportunity and more like a privilege to be out here with these guys."
Poole never felt that he was given a fair chance at playing time under Kiffin in 2009.
:"No, not at all. I didn't have a fair chance at all from the beginning," said Poole. "I wish I would have, but it was a tough situation like I said."
With Kiffin's five star recruit and running back Bryce Brown sitting out of spring practice it appears that Poole has the edge at competing for playing time.
Although Poole may have the edge with Brown out of the picture he doesn't want the sophomore to leave the Volunteers.
"I talked to him and I told him he should stay many of times, but he faces his own problems, he is his own man," said Poole. "I told him God bless him whatever he does. He is going to be successful wherever he is at."
Last season left Tauren Poole feeling undervalued and overlooked while players like Bryce Brown and Montario Hardesty took the majority of the handoffs.
"It was really hard because you felt like you were underappreciated, undervalued, but all you can control is yourself," said Poole.
Although Poole said that even if Kiffin were still the headman at Tennessee he would probably still be a Volunteer despite the events of last season.
"Yes. Probably so, I would just have to suck it up," said Poole. "He had his favorites, but that's life sometimes."
And while Poole sat on the sidelines for the majority of the 2009 season the tailback said he doesn't think there was anything being done on the field that he couldn't handle himself.
"No. I felt like I could do anything," said Poole. "That is how confident I am in myself. Every scrimmage, every practice I was bringing it."
Tauren Poole rushed for 86 yards off 10 carries during the 2009 season.