On Monday, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart told the media that super senior defensive back William Poole would not be with the team for the remainder of the season due to a “personal matter,” noting that Poole would “focus on that and his health and well-being.” Shortly after that announcement, Poole made his departure official, penning a goodbye message.
“Dawg Nation, I am thankful for the opportunity I was presented as a young kid out of Atlanta to have the honor of dawning the Red and Black for my home state for the past 6 years,” Poole said, via his personal Instagram account. “Due to personal reasons, I have decided to forego my last season at the University of Georgia. Looking back, my time at the university has been the best transitional period of my life thus far from a standpoint of developing the intangibles and characters that I can further carry on throughout life as I depart from the University. As I exit, I am able to carry along with me my first priority academically which was obtaining a Bachelors Degree in my pursued major of Communication Studies. Furthermore, athletically, I carry along the honor of being apart of an SEC, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Peach Bowl, Orange Bowl and ultimately I am a 2021 CFP National Champion.
“I want to give a huge thanks to every staff member, coaches, trainers, nutritionist, etc. who played a role in my journey and took care of me as their own. Most importantly, a thank you to Coach Smart as he has done a great job of being a representative of a coach who is demanding yet always supportive of the best interest and development of his players not only as players, but men as well. To my past and current teammates, I’ll miss every memory that we created within the grind of doing what we all love to do, the relationships and experiences I created here are those that I will remember and cherish forever and I wish nothing but success to every one of my brothers in that locker room that I’ve had a chance to build with over the years. Go Dawgs.”
Poole returned to Georgia for his super senior season and entered the offseason as the favorite to start at nickel. That job, however, was ultimately won by sophomore Javon Bullardwhich left Poole relegated to a backup role. Poole played against Oregon but did not record any tackles. He did not see the field last Saturday against Samford.
The Hapeville Charter (Atlanta, Ga.) product missed Georgia’s first four games in 2021 due to academic issues. Once he returned, he didn’t really factor into the next eight games. It wasn’t until the Bulldogs played Alabama in the SEC Championship game that Poole got his shot. He got the start against the Crimson Tide and struggled quite a bit. He remained the starter at the STAR/nickel position vs. Michigan in the Capital One Orange Bowl, playing at a much higher level. In the rematch vs. Alabama for the national championship, Poole played quite well. He had four total tackles, a half tackle for loss, and two big pass breakups in the Bulldog victory.