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Eventually, Poole stopped going home and committed to the Utes — who remained interested in him all along.
Last season, Poole was expected to battle with York to be John White’s backup. But he arrived late at preseason camp in order to finish up his junior college credits, and almost immediately sprained his ankle, forcing him to miss a month.
Bubba Poole file
» From Las Vegas
» Leads Utah with 330 yards rushing
» Has 15 catches for 120 yards
» Was given the name Bubba at birth by his uncle J.J.
» Graduated from Saddleback Junior College (Calif.) in one year
By the time he returned from the injury, Poole and the coaches determined that the best course for him was to redshirt. He made the most of the opportunity. Poole ran on the scout team, he worked out with the return team. Eventually, he caught the eye of staff.
"Bubba makes plays out there," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said "He’s a guy who makes people miss and he’s athletic. He adds a dimension that really helps us."
One of Poole’s biggest attributes this year has been the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He made a combined 12 receptions against Oregon State and BYU.
His numbers against UCLA a week ago dipped — five carries for 26 yards — but that’s because York has run much more effectively since losing his starting job. Whittingham said Monday that all three running backs would continue to share the job until somebody separates himself.
Which means Poole will continue to be a prominent part of the Utah offense.
"He’s someone who really can make people miss," Utah quarterback Travis Wilson said. "That’s something the offense needs. And he’s very versatile and effective either running or catching the ball. It’s good to have him in back of you."
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