It's been a long off season of rehab for former Mount Enterprise running back Kevin Pope, but hopefully all of his work will pay off in the next few weeks. The SMU freshman arrived in Dallas yesterday, ready to show his teammates and coaches in the fall what he can do.
"I'm pretty excited to be here. It's a big rush for me. To finally get to Dallas is great," stated Pope to PonyStampede.com. "This whole summer all I was thinking about was staying healthy and coming in to compete for a starting spot. I feel like the knee is 100%. I have been lifting weights and working out with the same weight that I was working out with before the injury. So I think that I'm there."
A first-team All-District running back for Mount Enterprise, Pope was averaging over 180 all-purpose yards a game before tearing his ACL after eight games in 2009.
On National Signing Day, SMU coach June Jones reported that Pope's rehab was going very well and that the signee might be able to see the field this season. He was evaluated by the SMU team doctor during his official visit in January, and the doctor thought he was on schedule to play.
"Right now I have had no problems with speed or cutting, but the true test will be this summer when I get out there for 7-on-7s," said Pope. "My goal was to get back as quick as possible. My doctor told me in the beginning that there wasn't a reason I shouldn't be back next season."
I'm no doctor, but the way he was hoping up the stairs to go to the coaches office on Monday, it looks like he's back.
We will talk with the freshman on camera in the coming weeks, when 7-on-7s start.