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story.lead_photo.caption Bumper Pool - Photo by Jason Ivester

With his college choice made almost one year ago, Arkansas linebacker pledge Bumper Pool can concentrate solely on his senior year and last high school football campaign.

Pool (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) of Lucas, Texas, Lovejoy, who has made numerous trips to Arkansas during his youth, will get the chance to officially visit the Razorbacks (1-0) today for their game with No. 23 TCU (1-0) at 2:30 p.m. at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

“I can’t wait to get up there,” said Pool, whose parents are both University of Arkansas graduates and whose sister and girlfriend are current students in Fayetteville. “It’s been awhile since I have been up there.

“Number one, I want them to win and if that happens, no matter what else, I will be excited. I will get to see the business school, see where I will be living, get out and go eat and really just kind of take in the whole experience. I am excited about it.”

Pool is a four-star prospect, according to ESPN, who had 151 tackles last season and is a four-year starter. He is one of 51 high school linebackers nationally nominated for the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation’s top high school and collegiate linebackers.

He committed to Arkansas on Nov. 7, 2016, over offers from Alabama, Michigan, LSU, Texas A&M, USC, TCU and many others.

“My dream was to always play for Arkansas and I have been to so many games, and now my dream is coming true,” Pool said. “The fact that I am going to be a Razorback is just so exciting for me.”

Most schools have honored Pool’s verbal commitment to Arkansas, but they still stay in contact.

“A lot of coaches check in just to see how I am doing, say hello, but most of them are pretty respectful of my decision and realize that I am still strongly committed to Arkansas,” Pool said. “They don’t try to pit it against me or use different angles.”

Pool was able to watch Arkansas’ 49-7 season-opening win over Florida A&M last Thursday in Little Rock.

He was intrigued with the Razorbacks’ new 3-4 defense, which limited the Rattlers to just 170 total yards.

“I thought they looked great, looked fast,” Pool said. “I am excited to see them play it against TCU and I think it will help them a lot against TCU’s spread, give them more speed and play a lot better in that scheme.”

Pool and Arkansas quarterback pledge Connor Noland (Greenwood) have spearheaded rounding up the 2018 recruiting class, which numbers 12 commits so far with 14 (including two blueshirts) filling what is expected to be 15- to 18-player signing class.

“Connor set the precedent that once you commit, you are a part of the recruiting staff and I just followed that up,” Pool said. “I had a lot of buddies in the Dallas area. It’s been great in that now we have four commits from the Dallas area. It is great having them want to go to Arkansas because we have a ton of talent in the Dallas area.

“We all came together and said, ‘Once you commit, let’s all work to get the next one on board and start that snowball effect.’”

Lovejoy High School opened the season with a 42-21 loss to Argyle.

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“We played a really good team and have a lot of young guys that were out there for the first time,” Pool said, “but I believe that we are going to have a very successful season and I’m hoping to bounce back, get some big wins and just keep the momentum going forward, and hopefully make a long playoff run that ends in a state championship.”

Dudley Dawson is the recruiting editor for Hawgs Illustrated magazine.

Print Headline: Pool ready to take college plunge

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