Pope Aims To Make Most of Time Off

After a two year stint at SW Mississippi Community College, former Beaufort High School (SC) standout cornerback Sam Pope has signed his letter of intent to return home and play for the South Carolina Gamecocks next season.

Unfortunately, USC does not have room for Pope to enroll for the spring semester and take part in spring practice, but he hopes to make the most of his time off by working hard and being ready when he joins the team in the summer.

"I'm going to be going there in May for the summer session," said Pope. "I'm going to work hard in between now and then. My goals are to come in faster and stronger."

The 6'1, 190 pound Pope, who is capable of playing multiple positions, said USC likes him as a cornerback.

"I'm going to be playing cornerback. They told me that they don't have much depth, and I can come right in and have a spot."

When asked to describe how he plays on the field, Pope set the bar high by saying that he plays similar to former Georgia standout and current Denver Bronco cornerback Champ Bailey.

"I think I'm pretty good. I play a lot like a young Champ Bailey."

While Pope admitted that his best position is cornerback, he said he is always up for using his versatility on offense or in the return game.

"I can play receiver if that's something they want me to do, and hopefully I can return kicks. That's another thing I want to do."

Lastly, Pope said he is keeping in regular contact with the USC coaches, specifically secondary Coach Ron Cooper, and he likes the direction that the South Carolina program is heading.

"Yeah, I talk with the coaches every once in a while. Coach Cooper called me and told me happy new year… They just won their bowl game and are on the verge of big things. I think I can come in there and make a difference, and we can win the SEC."

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