Despite Delay, Jordan Poole Still High on Wolfpack

Brett Friedlander

NC State has long been considered the favorite to land four-star linebacker Jordan Poole, one of the highest-rated prospects in the state among the Class of 2021. 

But when he delayed his scheduled commitment announcement on July 1, a move he described as "a business decision," it led to speculation that the West Stanly High School linebacker might be considering other schools beyond his top three of the Wolfpack, Virginia Tech and South Carolina.

That's not the case, though.

In an exclusive interview with SI All Wolfpack, Poole discusses his decision to wait before committing, what he's been doing to stay busy during the coronavirus crisis and his interest in State -- which he said remains as strong as ever.

On changing his commitment date

"I just want to be completely sure about my decision. I guess I was still kind of flip-flopping and I just wanted to be bought in 100- percent on my decision and make sure I made a good, sound decision."

On when he thinks he'll announce his college choice

"I'm going to still try to figure it out as soon as possible. I still want to commit before the season. I'm not really rushing it."

On whether any other teams have come into the picture since July 1

"Not really."

On his relationship with the Wolfpack staff

"I speak to one of the coaches probably every day or every other day. It's mainly Coach (Todd) Goebbel, but Coach (Dave) Doeren calls me a couple times a week also. I have a good relationship with them."

On the factors that will influence your ultimate decision

"The way I fit into the scheme and how much I like the campus, because it's basically home away from home. The family atmosphere, that's pretty big for me also."

How he feels like he fits in State's scheme

"I consider myself a fast linebacker. Playing with a 3-5, all linebackers have to be fast to play in space and I feel like I do play in space well and can cover. I've also played in a 3-5, so I think I fit in State's scheme pretty well."

How he fits into the schemes of his other two finalist schools

"The other two schools play a 4-2. I fit into those schemes also. At Virginia ZTech, the WILL and SAM (linebackers) are basically mirror positions. They're both outside guys and I'm an outside guy. South Carolina, the same thing, really. They're looking at me as a WILL."

On what he's been doing to stay busy during the pandemic

"I'm just working out, trying to stay busy and still preparing as a football player. I've been lifting, trying to get stronger, doing a lot of speed work and agility work, also footwork."

On whether fellow West Stanly product and former State star B.J. Hill has tried to recruit him to the Wolfpack

"I've talked to B.J. a couple of times about State. He's positive about it, but he said either way, he's going to support my decision."

On seeing Hill, who is now with the NFL's New York Giants, play at West Stanly and State 

"I saw him play a couple of times (in high school), but I was pretty young. I might have been in middle school. I followed him a little more when he was at State."

On how much input he's getting from his cousin and current Wolfpack defensive tackle C.J. Clark

"I talk to C.J. about (State), asking questions about what it's like and he gave me all positive feedback that I trust. He's family and that always helps. It was a good talk."

On continuing a tradition of talented defensive players from Oakboro that includes Rod Broadway, Quan Sturdivant, Hill and Clark 

"It's just a crazy accomplishment that I really don't take lightly. It really means a lot that I have the whole Stanly County behind me. I definitely won't let them down."

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