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Five things I learned from Florida

10/3/2011

Five things I learned this weekend:

Poole play

Last year, ESPNU 150 athlete Brian Poole (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast) helped Southeast get to a 24-7 halftime lead over rival Bradenton Manatee before he cramped up and spent much of the second half on the sidelines.

This year, the Southeast coaching staff wanted to preserve Poole's energy for a second-half run in hopes of reversing the trend. Instead Poole watched as Manatee punished Southeast en route to a 48-6 victory.

Poole only played a couple of plays on offense in the first half, and by the time Southeast had its first possession of the second half, the game was already out of reach. Manatee did its part to keep Poole from making too big of an impact.

"We didn't run any plays on his side of the field," Manatee coach Joe Kinnan said. "He's a great player, and we wanted to take him out of the game, so we stayed away from him."

The Under Armour All-American played much of the fourth quarter on offense, mostly out of frustration but maybe out of protest for a strategy that clearly backfired.

"I stayed in the game because my team needed me to pick them up," Poole said. "It was a pretty frustrating night."

Taylor to Tennessee

Although four-star linebacker Keith Brown (Miami, Fla./Norland) hasn't made his de-commitment to Miami official, the Hurricanes did see one member of their 2012 class depart.

Three-star defensive end Trenton Taylor (Lakeland, Fla./Lake Gibson) switched his commitment from Miami to Tennessee late last week. The 6-foot-3, 245-pounder took an official visit to Tennessee in early September.

"I really had too many questions about Miami and too many concerns about my future there," Taylor said. "That's when I decided to look around, and I found a better place for me."

Taylor said his visit to Tennessee couldn't have gone better and he felt an instant connection with the SEC school.

"It's just a wonderful place with great fans and great coaches," Taylor said. "I'm just real happy and real blessed to have the opportunity to go there and play in the SEC."

Taylor said he could play either defensive end or tackle with the Volunteers.

"They are going to put me where they need me and where I am the best fit," Taylor added. "I like being on the end, but I will play the [3-technique] if that's what they ask me to do."

Although Taylor still admits he has love for the Miami program, he's finished with the recruiting process.

"I'm just going to focus on my high school team and my grades now," Taylor said. "I don't think I'm going to be doing anything else with my recruitment."

Year of Yearby

If it seems like Miami Central sophomore running back Joseph Yearby has become a mainstay in the weekly wrap-up, there's good reason for that.

Each week the 5-9, 180-pounder just keeps getting better.

Yearby gained 292 rushing yards and accounted for five touchdowns in Friday's 37-34 victory over Miami Christopher Columbus. He now has 925 yards on the season and is well on his way to passing Devonta Freeman's country-leading total of the 2010 season.

"I felt like Devonta and the other guys passed this on to me at Central, and I want to be there for my team and this program," Yearby said. "Right now my team needs me to have big games, and they are helping me get it done."

The game featured multiple top running back prospects, including Columbus tandem Daryl Chestnut (100 rushing yards, two touchdowns) and Brandon Radcliffe (83 rushing yards, two touchdowns). But Yearby is currently the talk of Miami-Dade County. And while he is still a couple of years away, it's never too early to talk recruiting and his favorite school.

"I was always a fan of Miami when I was growing up," Yearby said. "They always have good running backs there."

Happy returns

After missing several weeks with a broken hand, ESPNU 150 tight end Kent Taylor (Land O' Lakes, Fla./Land O' Lakes) caught his first touchdown pass of the season Friday in a 35-14 victory over Spring Hill Springstead.

The 6-3, 220-pounder had three catches for 69 yards in the game and sat out much of the second half.

Taylor will make his college announcement at the end of the month. He was in attendance at the Florida-Alabama game over the weekend and will choose between the Gators, Florida State, Georgia or Penn State.

New commits

Both UCF and Florida International picked up verbal commitments over the weekend. Pensacola Catholic defensive end Luke Adams (6-3, 225) committed to the Knights, while Tampa Jefferson wide receiver Adrian Jenkins (6-2, 190) committed to the Golden Panthers.