Will Poole played cornerback for USC in the 2003-04 season and helped lead the Trojans to a 28-14 victory over Michigan in the 2004 Rose Bowl and the 2004 AP National Championship. Poole was a talented cornerback with good coverage skills and emerged on the national scene with a spectacular performance in the 2004 Rose Bowl. In 2003, he recorded 80 tackles and a team-high 7 interceptions. Poole was selected in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins and currently plays for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Q: Going back to your days at USC, what are some of your best memories as a Trojan?
A: Winning the Championship against Michigan and just being around the guys and the coaching staff. I have a lot of great memories like that.
Q: Can you talk about the 2004 Rose Bowl and your performance that day?
A: That was a good game for USC. That was the start of the national championship run that we had here, and personally that was a stepping stone for me to get my name out there for the NFL scouts to see what I could do in big games. It worked out in both ways.
Q: Can you talk about Coach Carroll, and how his style of coaching differs from other coaches around the nation?
A: He is an NFL coach, so it is a lot different from other college coaches. He runs his practices just like an NFL practice, high-tempo. He is a great guy to play for, you will go out and do whatever it takes to make Coach Carroll happy. As far as his coaching ability, it’s already been proven.
Q: What has been the biggest difference from being at USC and now playing in the NFL?
A: You get paid! (laughter) The biggest difference is it’s a business now. In college, the game is a lot more fun. When it becomes a business, it gets nasty but when it’s still college it is a lot more easygoing.
Q: Being in an NFL locker room surrounded by guys from other schools, how nice is it that USC has continued to have great success?
A: Being in an NFL locker room there are a lot of USC haters out there. I like to try and keep it going every week and let everybody know that we are still going to be around for a long time. It doesn’t seem like anything is going to change around here. We just need to get one now (national championship), it’s time to get one now.
Q: Is there any game as a Trojan that stands out in your mind?
A: The Michigan game (2004). That was the game for the Rose Bowl and the Championship. That game stood out because it let everybody know that we could play anybody, anywhere and win.
Q: What are some of the main lessons that you learned from the coaches here at USC?
A: You got to keep competing and work hard at your craft because there are other guys that want your job. If you want to maintain and be the best, you got to work hard. Basically, it’s about competition whether it’s competition on the field or the meeting room in a Fortune 500 company. Competition is one of the biggest things that I took out of here.
Q: Lastly, what does being a Trojan mean to you?
A: It means everything to me. I was only here for a year but in that one year, the Trojan Family just embraced me. Everywhere I go, even when I am in New York, if I have an SC hat on I might see somebody with an SC hat on in downtown Manhattan, where there are like ten million people and they will just throw the victory sign up and just keep on walking. We don’t even have to say a word. I see Trojans all over the country. It means a lot.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden