"You never know how the business works. There's a lot of backs ready and available, but I'm thankful they called me," Poole told the media today. "I was excited about it, hoping they'd reach out. Glad they did, and got it going."
The Panthers are struggling with injury issues in the backfield and Poole was a perfection for head coach Ron Rivera.
"We went back and looked at his tape from when he was with us, looked at his tape this preseason when he was Pittsburgh, and sat down and talked to him," Rivera said. "Coaches feel very comfortable about his retention."
Poole ran for 1,883 yards in his career at Tennessee, playing in 49 games from 2008-11. He scored 16 touchdowns in his career including five as a senior in 2011. He gained 693 yards this past season while catching 21 balls for 164 yards. He gained 100 rushing yards on three occasions this past season with a season-best 107 vs. Vanderbilt (11/19) in addition to 101 vs. Buffalo (10/1) and 100 vs. Cincinnati.
Poole was a 2011 preseason member of the Doak Walker and Maxwell Watch Lists in addition to being a candidate for the Lowe's Senior Class Award.
As a junior, Poole named AP All-SEC Honorable Mention accolades starting all 13 games and gaining 1,034 yards on 204 carries. He scored 11 touchdowns and gained 100 yards on six occasions to tie for the lead in the SEC. His 1,000-yard season was the 16th in UT history and his total of 1,034 ranks 14th on the single-season list. Poole gained a career-high 162 rushing yards against Oregon (9/11/10).
The Vols head to Athens on Friday looking for their first win at Georgia since 2006. Get the latest on Wednesday's practice on UTSports.com: