Nebraska in the thick of it for Austin Pope

After hosting Tennessee tight end Austin Pope on Saturday, where do the Huskers rank when it comes the soon to be senior's recruitment.

Update Monday afternoon: Pope committed to Tennessee.


It has been a long two weeks of visits for Christian Academy of Knoxville (TN) tight end Austin Pope. After visiting Nebraska and Missouri over the weekend, the soon to be senior is back home, looking to possibly make a decision in the near future.

“It’s a really cool place. Everything looks new. The resources, the facilities, and coaches are very solid,” said Pope, when asked about Nebraska. “It’s a class act type of deal. The stadium and everything around is just immaculate. It’s just a top-tier place. Coach (Mike) Riley really seems like a great guy and standup coach. The people and place are great. I heard the stats regarding the sellout streak – that’s unreal how much they believe in their football program and how supportive they are. You can really feel the tradition.”

The 2016 tight end holds a double-digit offer list, but the Huskers were the first power-five school to jump in the mix back in early May. It doesn’t look like Pope has forgotten when hearing his top four schools at the moment.

”I had a reporter ask me yesterday my top schools and I told him, ‘Mississippi State, Arkansas, Tennessee and Nebraska,’” said Pope. “Hopefully I can narrow those down soon and go from there.

“Being around places, I got a lot of perspective. I’m going to go home today and think about what I liked and I didn’t like. I will have a decision soon… the process has been great, but stressful of course. I feel like I know in my heart how I’m going to narrow the schools down to. Then it’s about making the best decision I can.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound prospect says it’s not about getting a decision out of the way, but more getting a chance to focus on winning a state championship during his senior year and preparing for college football.

With it being Big Red Weekend in Lincoln, Pope wasn’t able to spend that much 1-on-1 time with Riley, but did get an opportunity to sit down with the head coach. Most of his interaction came with Nebraska graduate assistant Tavita Thompson, who coaches tight ends.

“He was picking my brain about plays and where I fit into offenses all day,” said Pope. “Coach Thompson and I got to watch a little film, so that was good.”


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