You know, it drives you crazy to watch a coach deploy a player (or players) ahead of kids who’ve shown themselves to be the better contributors on the field.
No, I’m not talking about Willie Martinez and Bryan Evans. I’m talking about Junior and prized recruit Bryce Brown.
And Tauren Poole.
In the end, Tauren Poole is the one still standing.
He knew he was in a no-win situation last season, buried behind a player who was going to play in front of him no matter what.
It didn’t matter that Poole had been better in practices and better in scrimmages, and it didn’t matter that many of his teammates were telling him privately that he should be Tennessee’s No. 2 tailback behind Montario Hardesty.
Bryce Brown came in as one of the most hyped prospects in the country, a walking advertisement for Lane Kiffin’s recruiting prowess, and he was going to play — regardless.
“I could have rushed for 100 yards every scrimmage, and the best I was going to do was third team, if that,” Poole said. “It was hard to take, especially with so many guys on the team telling me that wasn’t right…”
That’s spoken by someone who clearly doesn’t understand how important it is for a school to win the national recruiting rankings.
By the way, after reading this post about the dire straits Tennessee finds itself in with regards to the offensive line this season, I think I still feel for Poole.