WR, Class of 2022
Hardin County, Savannah, TN
It’s not that Hardin County (Tenn.) 2022 three-star athlete Kaydin Pope reads a lot, but there’s one book he read a couple of years ago that he still remembers well.
“The King of Sports,” written by Gregg Easterbrook, delves into the history of football and how it has become so engrained in American culture. But it begins with a more in-depth look specifically at Virginia Tech football, the program’s high graduation rate and the impact of former coach Frank Beamer.
For now, this is most of what Pope said he knows about the Hokies. And it’s similar to what he knows about most of the 10 scholarship offers he has. Pope’s offers include Virginia Tech, which offered last week, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Indiana and Cincinnati. But because it’s been more than a year since he’s taken a campus visit, Pope said he’s unable to make a lot of movement in his recruitment.
But thanks to the book, Pope does have some knowledge of the Hokies.
“It was a good book and I found more info on them,” he said. “It’s sitting on my dresser right now. It puts Virginia Tech in there, about football and everything.”
“Coach Fuller followed me on Instagram on Nov. 5, and they offered me last Wednesday,” Pope said. “We had talked, and I said thanks for the follow. He said, ‘we’ve got to get on the phone and talk at some point.’ I sent him my highlight tape and he called and offered. It was the same day. It’s happened before. I figured it would happen that week. I sent Kentucky my game film from 1-4 (first four games of 2020 season) and they offered me the same day. As soon as I sent it, the coach said, ‘call me.’ I called and they offered. The same thing happened with Vanderbilt, too.”
But Pope has yet to see any of those three schools in-person. Last season, he said he attended games at Arkansas, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee Tech, but that’s proven to be not enough to base many decisions on.
“It’s difficult, because coaches will ask how I like the school,” Pope said. “I’ll just be like, ‘I haven’t been out there.’ I want to visit. I haven’t met any coaches, so I don’t know how they are. I haven’t been to the facility or anything. I haven’t really been able to get a feel for anybody., When I went on those visits, it was exciting, but it was only three good schools that I visited.”
Pope’s junior season just concluded last Friday with a 21-20 overtime loss to Lexington (Tenn.) in the Class 4A state quarterfinals. Now that the season is complete, he said he plans to get more into his recruitment. But that doesn’t mean Pope is ready for much movement just yet. For one, he still has more reading to do.
“I feel like I’ve made a little progress now that I’m at 10 (offers),” he said. “But I feel like I’ve got a whole lot coming, when I put out workout videos. I feel like I have a whole lot more coming. One day, maybe like January, I want to go sit down on a computer and just read about schools. But I’ve really just been playing football. I haven’t really paid attention to recruiting or anything.”