The 6-foot-1, 185-pound 2017 prospect made sure that his weekend getaway to the Bay was a useful one, by touring the Berkeley campus and then, the following day, showcasing his skills at El Sobrante (Calif.) De Anza against some of the top players in the West region at Nike's The Opening Oakland Regional.
“Cal was really nice. I liked it,” Pope said. “The safeties coach [Greg Burns] took me around the campus.”
It’s not the first time Pope has had a meet-and-greet session with the Golden Bears. Pope said Cal had coaches visit him at his Moorpark (Calif.) campus during the spring evaluation period.
Pope is also no stranger to The Opening, as he participated in a regional in 2015, and again at the Feb. 28 Los Angeles regional this year.
“It’s nice to match up with people from other schools,” Pope said.
The versatile athlete -- who gets reps on kick return, at wide receiver and at defensive back -- is used to taking the field against top notch competition in the Conejo Valley, against the likes of Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure and Westlake High, all of which combined to go 25-9 last year.
Pope proved he belonged with the upper echelon of talent in South Ventura County, by combining for six touchdowns, intercepting three passes and producing 15 plays that stretched for 20 yards or more on offense and special teams last season.
Pope said his strengths his footwork, and his “ability to get open. I’m working on getting faster.”
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