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Pool had until Wednesday to pull his name out of the draft, but instead signed with agent Ben Dogra of St. Louis-based SFX. He will skip his senior season to take part in the draft, which begins April 23 in New York.
"He seems to be a legitimate contender for the No. 1 free safety spot in the 2005 NFL draft," Dogra told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "I believe that he is the best free safety in the country."
Pool had a team-high seven interceptions in 2003 and two more this season after the Sooners lost cornerback Derrick Strait to the NFL. Oklahoma was also without its top returning cornerback, Antonio Perkins, for part of the season.
Pool, listed at 6-foot-3 and 208 pounds, led the Sooners with 92 tackles and nine passes broken up.
Dogra said Pool has tools that can make him a similar player to Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed, who was AP's defensive player of the year this season.
Dogra said Pool has tremendous pass coverage instincts, he can run, he has a 40-inch vertical leap and he can also deliver a hit on an opposing player.
"He brings an awful lot to the table that NFL teams look for," Dogra said.
Dogra said Pool's most desired ability might be his range across the field."You can't get that in most safeties," Dogra said. Dogra said he considered this year's senior class weak in safeties, which would benefit Pool. Pool had already decided to leave Oklahoma before he contacted Dogra, the agent said. However, Dogra said he knew it was a "very tough decision" for Pool. "He's torn," Dogra said. Dogra said Pool was already training at Athletes' Performance in Phoenix, a facility where athletes from many sports -- including Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and tennis player Jennifer Capriati -- have worked out. "He is an unbelievable athlete," Dogra said. "If he gets up tomorrow and he runs, he's going to run better than most players This is a kid that already has remarkable athletic ability."