Arkansas Bumper Pool nears record – ESPN 98.1 FM

Although a 3-2 record with two straight losses does not favor the Arkansas Razorbacks, there are still positives around the program. With 395 career tackles, the Bumper Pool linebacker is just 14 tackles away from becoming the school’s all-time leading tackle, a record that has stood since 2003.

“That’s what makes coming to Arkansas so special is that there’s a ton of talent that’s played here and there’s such a great story. Anytime you can have a piece of history with a school like Arkansas, it will mean everything to you,” Pool told members of the Arkansas media earlier this week. “We’re just going in there to get a win and then we’ll worry about all this whenever it happens.”

Former Razorback Tony Bua, who played for the team from 1999 to 2003, currently holds the record with 408 career tackles.

“I had a conversation with him about his kids when he grows up and what his kids can say,” head coach Sam Pittman told members of the Arkansas media on Wednesday. “I think one of the biggest things they can say to their buddies at school, I hope they can get the record, that my dad has had more tackles than anyone in the history of the Arkansas soccer. I think that would be really cool.

Good start for Bumper Pool

In five games, Pool had a total of 46 tackles (20 solo) and 3.5 tackles for loss. He made at least seven tackles each game. Additionally, Pool has two double-digit tackle performances (13 against Cincinnati and 10 against Alabama).

Pool and the Razorbacks are looking to avoid their third straight loss when they face No. 23 Mississippi State in Starkville at noon. the Razorbacks have won the last two matchups, including a 21-14 victory in 2020 where Pool finished with a career-high 20 tackles.

Bumper Pool’s Electric Quarry

In his fifth season with the Razorbacks, Pool has consistently been one of the best tacklers in the SEC.

Pool has made more than 100 total tackles in each of the past two seasons, including 125 total saves in 2021. His total tackles ranked third in the SEC and earned him the third team All-SEC in Associated Press. Pool made 101 tackles in a shortened 2020 season, which ranked fourth in the SEC.

The defining moment in Pool’s career, before possibly breaking the record, came the last time Arkansas played in Starkville. With 20 tackles, Pool helped lead the Hogs to an upset 7 points against the Bulldogs. The win ended a 20-game SEC losing streak for Arkansas and gave Pittman his first victory as a head coach.

“We had success there two years ago,” Pool told the media this week. “And this locker room means something to us because we got our first SEC win there. So this whole gathering is special, and we’re very excited to be going there on Saturday.

During his five-year career, Pool was named to various all-American teams and received other accolades (from arkansasrazorbacks.com):

  • 2022: Phil Steele Preseason Second Team All-American, Phil Steele Preseason First Team All-SEC
  • 2021: Phil Steele All-American Third Team, Phil Steele All-SEC First Team, All-SEC Second Team (AP, Coaches), All-SEC Third Team (PFF)
  • 2020 All-SEC Second Team (Coaches), Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Week, National Defensive Player of the Week Bronko Nagurski
  • Fall 2018-21 SEC Academic Honor Roll

SEC Leaders

Pool’s 46 total tackles are tied for second in the SEC with Mississippi State linebacker Jett Jackson and Texas A&M defensive back Antonio Johnson behind Vanderbilt’s Anfernee Orji, who leads the conference with 52 tackles in the total. Florida’s Rashad Torrence II ranks third with 45. Pool’s teammate Drew Sanders ranks fourth with 43 total tackles. Ole Miss’ Troy Brown rounds out the top five with 38 total tackles.

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