An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The 2011 candidate class includes four Associated Press All-Americans from last season. Eight of the 30 have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or better. Five of the candidates were recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America as 2010 Academic All-Americans. Twelve of the candidates play for teams ranked in the USA Today preseason top 25 poll. Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award® winner during the 2011 football bowl season.
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. ?
Tauren Poole - http://bit.ly/PooleSeniorCLASS
Poole graduated with a bachelor's degree in Sport Management in just three years and is currently working on his master's degree in Sport Psychology. He has also been selected to the Academic All-SEC team in each of his first three years at Tennessee.
Despite being shuffled around under three different head coaches, Poole's work ethic, attitude and commitment have made him the consummate student-athlete and a role model for the entire team. Not only did he earn the starting nod at running back in 2010 after playing sparsely during his first two seasons, he was also named a team captain, an honor he will likely hold again this year. Poole, selected to represent UT at the 2011 SEC Media Days, is known for putting the team ahead of himself and treating everyone he meets with the utmost respect.
An active participant in Tennessee football's Vol For Life program, Poole has helped lead the program's efforts in a number of community-service projects. In conjunction with Habitat for Humanity, the Vols played a critical role in the construction of a home for a Knoxville native this past summer. The Vols also teamed up with the Knoxville police department for a training day event that saw UT players and staff join officers in ride-alongs, as well as armed intruder and K-9 chase simulations. Poole also is actively involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has served as a guest speaker at a number of events.
Poole was named a 2010 Associated Press All-SEC honorable-mention selection after rushing for 1,034 yards and 11 touchdowns during his junior campaign. He recorded six 100-yard games, tying for the most by an SEC player. His 1,000 yard season was the 16th in Tennessee history. Poole is on preseason watch lists for both the Doak Walker and Maxwell Awards, which recognize college football's top running back and most outstanding player, respectively.