With so many big time high school football programs in the state of Texas, it is sometimes hard for players in Class 1A to get noticed. After rushing for 11.4 yard per carry last season, Mount Enterprise's Kevin Pope was just what the Mustangs were looking for as a bruiser back.
"He is 5'11, 220 pounds and has tremendous moves. But when he gets to the line and there is no where to go, he can duck his shoulder and head and run-over people. He is a punishing runner. He is just strong with his powerful legs and body," stated Wildcats' coach Louie Johnson. "It's just all out effort with Kevin. He is just a great athlete. He is big and strong and he has just got a drive to do well. That is what separates the good ones."
After rushing for nearly 1200 yards and 18 touchdowns last season, Pope has followed up this year with 1371 yards and 18 scores through just nine games. Three times this season, he has rushed for over 225 yards on 25 carries or less.
"He has had a tremendous year so far. He does everything for us. He is a tremendous runner, he has been a great linebacker, he has punted the ball, he is a real player for us," said Johnson. "He could have a lot more yards than he does. But he is a tremendous team player and when I take him with a big lead, he understands and wants his teammates to have success to."
Mount Enterprise has jumped out to a 7-1 start, blowing teams out in the process. Because the Wildcats are so good, Pope loses out on carries and yards late in the ball game. In Mount Enterprise's closest game this season against Shelbyville, Pope had 25 carries for 301 yards and five touchdowns. The Mustangs won 47-34, needing the senior running back on the field the whole game.
"On a lot of teams he would have that type of performance every night, but more often than not he is taken out in the 3rd quarter when the game is in control," said Johnson. "I can not take a chance on getting him injured when we have a big lead."
The more yards that the star running back puts up, the more schools will start to take notice of senior. That said, Pope will be a Mustang next season.
"There are still some schools that are sending him stuff everyday and wanting to talk with him, but he is a very solid verbal to SMU. He was excited about the offer," said Johnson. I think he was flying under the radar into the season and I'm not sure if he is still not because of Class A ball. It is sometimes really hard for Class A players to get noticed."
A star on the field, the future Mustang is a very humble young man.
"He is a great kid and a great student. I tell recruiters and everyone that ask about that he is just a good kid. I call him a kid because when your as old as I am, you call everyone a kid. He is just a good and unselfish young man," said Johnson. "He is always pumping up his teammates. Sometimes he tells me, why don't you give them the ball, they can do it to."