Position: Running Back
Experience: Redshirt Senior-Two-Year Letterman
High School: Mt. Enterprise
Hometown: Mt. Enterprise, TX
Recruitment: Pope was just a three-star recruit according to Scout coming out of Mt. Enterprise and was not heavily sought-after. While he received some interest from Houston, Northwestern, and TCU, they never offered. Besides SMU, Pope held offers from Stephen F. Austin and Louisiana-Monroe. A big reason SMU liked Pope out of high school was his versatility. He was a running back in high school but SMU quickly converted him to linebacker.
2013 Review: This is a tough review because Pope's performance last season will have very little impact on his last year with the Mustangs. Last year at inside linebacker, Pope was second on the team in tackles with 91. 47 of those takedowns were solo and ten of them were for a loss of yards. He had three sacks, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. He was not strong in pass protection, with just three pass breakups in 2013. The part of Pope's 2013 season that should be looked upon for 2014 is the few times he was allowed to carry the ball. In the last two games of the season, June Jones experimented with Pope in the backfield, where he got ten carries for 89 yards. He also caught five passes for 61 yards.
2013 Grade: B
2014 Preview: Pope certainly has the skills to play running back but after spending four years at linebacker it will not be an overnight transition. In the two games in which he played at tailback, Pope occasionally showed the breakout speed he had in high school. If he can get comfortable in his new spot quickly, he could be a dangerous homerun threat in a dynamic SMU running attack.