"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:
On Sept. 25, 1926, General Robert Neyland coached his first game as head coach of the Volunteers as Tennessee shutout Carson-Newman, 13-0. The General went on to post a 76-7-5 record in his first tenure with the Vols from 1926-34. His career mark over 21 seasons was 173-31-12 for a 82.9 win percentage.
1915 W, 101-0 CARSON-NEWMAN
1920 W, 45-0 EMORY & HENRY
1926 W, 13-0 CARSON-NEWMAN
1937 W, 32-0 WAKE FOREST
1948 L, 6-21 MISSISSIPPI STATE
1954 W, 19-7 Mississippi State (N) @ Memphis, Tenn.
1965 T, 13-13 AUBURN
1971 L, 9-10 No. 5 AUBURN
1976 L, 28-38 Auburn (N) @ Birmingham, Ala.
1982 L, 14-24 Auburn
1993 W, 42-20 LOUISIANA STATE
1999 W, 17-16 MEMPHIS
2004 W, 42-17 LOUISIANA TECH
2010 W, 32-29 ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM (2 OT)
Check out highlights from the Vols' 42-20 win over LSU on Sept. 25, 1993 as Heath Shuler led the Orange & White with three TD passes
Coach Butch Jones and University of Tennessee vice chancellor and director of athletics Dave Hart will be on-site for "Vol Calls" tonight from Calhoun's On the River in downtown Knoxville at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m.). Bob Kesling and Brent Hubbs co-host the show. Fans may tune in across the state on the Vol Radio Network or listen online at utsports.com. Listeners can ask a question by dialing 1-800-688-8657 - Verizon customers can dial #TENN - or submit a question via Facebook at VolNetwork-IMG.