Q&A with Will Poole

"I try to bring a complete game to corner, not just covering but shedding blocks, tackling, running to the ball, making plays. Those are the things I like to bring to the table."

Talk about your workout program right now with the team.

"I'm just working out with the team, getting familiar with the guys on the team, the coaching staff and everything. The summer's going good, we're about three weeks into it and we're just really working hard and getting excited for the season coming up."

For those who haven't seen you play, describe Will Poole as a corner.

"I try to bring a complete game to corner, not just covering but shedding blocks, tackling, running to the ball, making plays. Those are the things I like to bring to the table."

You were aware of Pete Carroll before you signed with USC. What is it about his experience with corners that attracted you here?

"If you know football you know that Pete Carroll is the guy when it comes to the secondary and corners, he's the guru of corners if you want to say. When I was at Boston College he was at New England and I went to a couple practices up there and saw how he ran a practice and how players responded to him. I was familiar with him when I went to Ventura and my coach had a nice relationship with him. It's just a great opportunity to play for a guy like Pete Carroll, I feel blessed to be in this situation to be able to call him my coach."

Talk about how you ended up at Ventura College from the East Coast.

"Well, I had sat out a year and I needed to go to junior college. I didn't want to be on the East Coast anymore, I wanted to take my game to a whole different place where nobody knew me. I mean, coming from New York City, football's not big. I just decided to come out to California and see what it was about. I called around, checked on some schools, ended up at Ventura where they had a place for me and the rest is history."

Why do you like playing corner?

"I'm being biased but it's the hardest position on the field besides quarterback, that's number one. You have to have a short memory. You're going out there, you don't even know what the receiver's gonna do, he knows what he's gonna do. You get to make a lot of plays at corner. You're on an island, you're by yourself, people get to see you, that's what I like about corner. It's a hard position but somebody's got to play it. I like it because it's hard and I've got to play. There's a chance you might get beat, everybody gets beat, but it's about getting right back up and playing the next play."

Why is it such a hard position?

"It's hard because you're running backwards full-speed. A guy is running at you full speed, he knows where he's going already, you don't. You have to turn, open and run almost simultaneously while keeping the same speed and not getting beat deep. If you get beat deep, everybody sees it. If you make a good play everybody sees it too but if somebody scores a touchdown on you they say "oh, that guy sucks". There's a lot of things that go along with corner but you just have to have it inside (slaps chest) to play it, not everybody can play corner."

Talk about your role for this fall.

"I have one year here so I'm just coming in trying to fit in where I can by working hard with the guys. A lot of guys are teaching me things about the defense and everything so I'm just trying to help the team wherever I can to win a national championship."

You're not a normal freshman newcomer, you're a veteran college player. What do you think you've learned over the years in the game that can help you?

"Coming in as an older guy I already know how to work hard. I've learned how to be patient and wait for your time to come, to not get discouraged if things aren't going the right way. You've got a lot of different practices, it's not going to be just one practice. You've just got to be patient, play hard at all times, work hard off the field and everything else will take care of itself."

What players do you look to or model your game after?

"I like to take a lot of different things from a lot of different people. Deion is just the most confident and most cocky person ever so I like to take his belief in himself that nobody can stop him. I really like Antoine Wingfield, his heart, he's short but I think he had 100 tackles at Ohio State. I like his tenacity. Charles Woodson, his body frame, he just can't get blocked. Champ Bailey's athleticism, his hands, stuff like that. I take a little from different guys because they all have their own style anyways. It may not always be the right technique but you just bring it all together for your own style."

What is your height/weight, 40 time?

"I'm 6-0 and weighed 193 today. I run a 4.4, definitely fast enough."

You're coming to play in the Pac-10, one of the premier passing conferences in the country. What do you look forward to about that challenge?

"The passes. Having the opportunity to get some picks, to get my hands on the ball. I mean, they pass the ball like every play so this is a great place for a DB. If you're a DB trying to get to the next level there's not a better conference in the country."


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