While Arkansas took on Texas A&M Saturday morning on College Game Day, the name Bumper Pool caught the attention of viewers watching the match-up, and users online couldn’t help but wonder if that was the Razorbacks’ linebacker’s real name.
The sophomore linebacker, originally from Lucas, Texas, and a four star recruit out of high school who stands 6’2 and 228 pounds, chose to attend Arkansas over Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, USC, Michigan, Oklahoma State, TCU, Arizona, Maryland and SMU, confirmed that his real name is Bumper Pool. And fans can thank his father, Jeff Pool, for his famous moniker.
Jeff explained to AJC, that his favorite growing up was bumper pool.
“We played all the time,” Jeff said, of going to his childhood friend’s house. “We’d go over there and spend weekends playing. We never stopped. It was just that much fun.”
Jeff added, “It’s funny, there was a girl I went to high school with who I hadn’t seen in forever and she had a daughter that was about four years older than Bumper. He was in elementary school and they used to have this deal where the older kids would go and read to the elementary school kids. Her daughter came home one day and said, ‘Mom, you’re never going to guess this. I met a kid named Bumper Pool.’ She said, ‘I almost dropped the bowl I was holding.’ She couldn’t believe I did it.”
Bumper Pool’s Mom Had Stipulations with His Legal Name
However, being able to name is his son Bumper did come with a few stipulations from his wife, Laurie Pool, who insisted his middle name be James Morris, after his paternal grandfather. She said, “As a mom, I wanted a good, strong business name, as well, so we got James Morris in there. I thought Jeff was crazy, but from the beginning the name has fit him. Bumper just fits who he is, and he loves it.”
Todd Ford, who was Pool’s head coach at Lovejoy High School, thinks Bumper was perfect for him. Ford said, “In my opinion he has the best linebacker name in the entire signing class of the United States. He loves to hit, so I think it fits him quite well.”
As for Bumper, he’s fully owned it. He told Whole Hog Sports, I’ve been called Bumper since I was born. I had to explain it to all my friends’ parents. I didn’t even know how to spell my full name when I was going through preschool! A teacher asked me to spell my name one day, and I wrote Bumper because that’s what my name was to me. My mom really wanted me to be called James because she didn’t think Bumper would stick.”
Oh, mom. It stuck. And Twitter absolutely loves it. His name quickly started trending during the Razorbacks match-up against Tex A&M, who were impressively holding their own against the No 23. ranked team. While some users online found it hilarious, most people dubbed it the best named in college football.
Bumper Pool was Featured on Jeopardy!
His name is so unique, Pool was the subject of a Jeopardy! question in 2018. Host Alex Trebek said the answer, “Bumper Pool bounces running backs around as a linebacker for the Razorbacks of this school.” The correct answer of course, “What is University of Arkansas?”