William Poole III, one of UGA’s top recruits for the Class of 2017, visited Florida on Friday as part of a 7-on-7 camp with his Hapeville Charter (Atlanta) team.
The Gators finished a very close second to UGA in the race for the nation’s No. 9 prospect at his position. How does the UGA staff feel about him looking around?
“They are okay with it,” Poole said. “I let them know whenever I am going to go visit another school or things like that.”
Poole stated on Friday night he is still 100 percent committed to UGA. He’s an effective behind-the-scenes recruiter for the class. That’s why the coaching staff was not likely fretting about him being in Gainesville yesterday.
“They are not really worried,” Poole said. “They are confident.”
The 6-foot, 176-pounder already knows three of the four other official visits he will take aside from UGA this fall. Florida will be one of those, even if Poole has not heard as much from new Florida defensive backs coach Torrian Gray since choosing UGA in April.
“They are just trying to make sure they get me up here for an official,” Poole said on Friday night. “I wanna take all five so I am definitely going to take an official here.”
There was not a stark difference between the schools when he chose UGA. He said there were a lot of similarities to the programs and the coaches at each school.
“With either way I went, I saw myself being very successful,” Poole said. “But the thing that really stuck about Georgia was that it was right there at home. So why leave it?”
But that was likely the only point of separation.
“I was very close to committing to Florida,” Poole said. “I can’t even put it into words. I was really close. What really put me over the edge was when coach (Torrian) Gray came in. He was recruiting me at Virginia Tech and he is a really cool guy. I know he knows what he is talking about. When I came to see them practice, he really blew me away with his work ethic with the guys and things of that nature.”
Michigan and Ohio State are his other planned officials. He’s not sure about his fifth visit yet.
“I am going to give these schools — especially Florida — a chance and everything,” Poole said. “But these other schools I just have never gone out and visited these places before. I am just to just experience what it is like over there.”
Those comments clearly indicate he still has some sentiment for the Gators. Is there anything that his second choice can do to flip him?
“I can’t really say,” Poole said. “I’m not sure about what specifically they could do.”
Poole said it would take “something dramatic” make that happen.
He was happy with how he did at the 7-on-7 camp. He got beat on a stop-and-go route by a Florida commitment at tight end. He almost had an interception.
“I broke on a ball pretty well, but I dropped that pick,” Poole said. “That’s my fault.”
SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi contributed to this report
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.