University of Tennessee classes resumed this week and two football student-athletes have gained admittance and will participate in spring practice. Austin Johnson and Tauren Poole bring to 18 the number of high school graduates that have enrolled mid-term for the Volunteers. Last season, Tennessee had four mid-term high school graduates join the squad in January.
Spring drills begin March 11.
Linebacker, 6-3, 240
Hickory, N.C. (Hickory)
Rivals: 3 stars ... No. 9 overall fullback ... No. 12 rated prospect in North Carolina
Scout.com: 3 stars ... No. 18 overall middle linebacker
ESPN: No. 41 ranked inside linebacker
All-State in 2006 and 2007 ... All-Conference as a linebacker all three years he played varsity ... MVP of high school team as a junior ... All Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007 ... 2007 Carolina Panthers Community Captain ... Shrine Bowl Participant in 2007 and captain of the North Carolina team in annual scrimmage pitting North Carolina against South Carolina ... National Honor Society ... Beta Club ... Started three years at linebacker and two years at fullback ... Finished career with 580 tackles ... Had 160 tackles as a sophomore, 211 tackles as a junior and 210 tackles as a senior ... As a senior rushed 108 times for 692 yards and 18 touchdowns and had 35 receptions for 470 yards ... Also excels in baseball ... His father signed with Kentucky before completing eligibility at UT-Martin ... Brother, Tyler, plays linebacker at Division II Wingate College ... Coach at Hickory: John Worley ... Full name: Austin Thomas Johnson ... Born: June 16, 1989.
Running Back, 5-10, 195
Toccoa, Ga. (Stephens County)
Rivals: 3 stars ... No. 25 overall running back ... No. 29 rated prospect in Georgia
Scout.com: 3 stars... No. 42 overall running back
ESPN: No. 20 overall running back
Career rushing and touchdown leader at Stephens County High School ... Stephens County was region champs his final three years as a varsity member ... Rushed for 5,519 yards during his four-year career ... Finished with 1,350 rushing yards his sophomore year, 1,925 yards his junior season and 2,138 during his senior campaign ... Twice named player of the year by various media outlets ... Member of All-State Academic team ... High School coach Travis Noland was Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton’s head coach at Tuscola High School in North Carolina ... Coach at Stephens County: Travis Noland ... Full name: Taurean Chasmaine Poole ... Born: Oct. 19, 1989.