Fields and Pope "on track"

Expectations were high for both incoming freshman running backs Darryl Fields and Kevin Pope. So far, so good.

Expectations were high for both incoming freshman running backs Darryl Fields and Kevin Pope. So far, so good.

Fields has looked like a home run threat waiting to happen every practice and Pope looks like his surgically repaired knee is fine.

Both have impressed and now has learned that both should see the field in 2010. Many wondered if Pope would red-shirt this season after tearing his ACL last fall. At this time, it doesn't appear like it will happen.

"Both of those guys have been really pleasing because of the expectations that have been placed on them. They are not there yet, but the potential they have is nice," said SMU running backs coach Wes Suan. "We have never really had freshman running backs like this before, so we are pleased."

Darryl Fields
(Photo:Matthew Visinsky)
With senior Chris Butler's camp going and the always reliable Zach Line, SMU could potentially have a game plan with four backs.

"We are a long ways off from game planning, but the simple executions and techniques are really starting to fall into place," said Suan. "They will play if they are ready... No, they are not going to red-shirt. It's not my say, of course it's Coach Jones' decision, but the feeling is they won't."

Fields was the highest rated high school running back to choose SMU in over two decades. With fans already comparing his body type to Eric Dickerson at open practices, it would have been understood if he had gotten off to a slow start. Right now, the pressure hasn't phased him.

"We weren't worried because of their personality. I don't think either freshman really knew the expectations that were being put on them. I still don't believe that is the case. They don't feel outside pressure. They still want to perform and live up to their highest expectations," said Suan. "I think with Coach Jones and myself, we haven't asked too much of them. They just need to do what the norm is and let their athletic ability do the rest. They are youngsters, but right on track. They are learning and they are getting better."

Josh Harvey started with in 2008 and covers recruiting for SMU, Iowa, and Texas. You can also see his work on the Big 12 at
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