William Poole III, a 4-star cornerback prospect from Hapeville Charter High School in Atlanta, committed to play college football for Georgia on Saturday:
Poole is the 12th-ranked player at his position, the No. 9 overall prospect out of Georgia and the 100th-best player in the class of 2017, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.
Despite being listed at only 176 pounds, Poole is 6'0" and has tremendous natural, functional strength even with a rather slender frame. He plays bigger than he is, evident in his aggressive brand of press coverage, which can easily frustrate opposing receivers.
Thanks to Poole's length and tenacity, he should have little issue making the transition to college. A lot of the little things that often make a big difference are what Poole does best. Some defensive backs struggle with open-field tackles, but Poole consistently pops out as a big but controlled hitter.
Seldom do playmakers get away from Poole's grasp whether it be after the catch or when he's defending the run. The youngster plays with no hesitation, shows excellent instincts and is quick to diagnose plays.
If a receiver gets lazy on a stalk block, one can bet Poole will blow right past him and make a play in the running game. Poole is also capable of closing fast on the ball and can flip his hips better than just about any cornerback prospect in the country.
The 40-yard dash time Poole registered as a junior, per 247Sports, was a respectable 4.56 seconds. Although the time suggest Poole doesn't exactly boast elite speed, the highlights suggest he has swifter game speed—and his quick hips and abrupt change of direction skills help offset any disadvantage in that area.
With even five to 10 pounds added to his frame and a bit more explosiveness added to his arsenal through rigorous training at Georgia, Poole could really be a special college player.
All the tools are there for Poole to start as early as his sophomore year. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him in a situational role in the Bulldogs' secondary as a true freshman—or at least emerge as a special teams dynamo.
All recruiting rankings and ratings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise indicated.