Fort Hill High School (Cumberland, MD) tailback/defensive back Andre Pope enjoyed an excellent 2003 season. He rushed for over 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns in an I-formation offense and was just as good if not better on defense, where he picked off seven passes to lead the team. Pope earned first-team all-state honors as a defensive back last season as a junior.
“On defense he led the team with seven interceptions, and he returned four of those for touchdowns,” Fort Hill Head Coach Barry Lattimer said. “He was a first-team all-state defensive back last year. We move him around. Sometimes he plays safety and sometimes we move him to corner when we play man-on-man defense. He’s our best cover guy. He understands the game so well on defense. He knows how to read quarterbacks, which gives him a big edge.”
As good as he is on defense, Lattimer believes Pope is one of the best he’s ever coached on offense as well. Pope became the starting tailback for the varsity squad almost immediately in only his freshman year.
“Andre’s been on the varsity since he was a freshman,” Lattimer said. “I saw him play running back in the sixth grade and he was absolutely phenomenal. He started at tailback for us in the second game his freshman season. He has a great ability to see the field. He has real good peripheral vision, he’s good at setting up blocks and reading blocks, and he’s got phenomenal lateral movement. Andre’s able to run through tackles…his hip, leg, and upper body strength are phenomenal.”
Maybe most impressive about Pope is his physical attributes. He is a strong player with good size and excellent athletic abilities.
“Andre is six-feet tall, weights 205 pounds, and runs a 4.44 in the 40,” Lattimer said. “His 4.44 time was the time in the Maryland combine. He has a vertical leap of 36 inches. He bench presses a max of 370 pounds and has a 350 pound squat. He broke the school record in the leg press.”
This Spring, Pope attended the Nike Camp at Penn State as well as the aforementioned Maryland State Junior Combine. He performed extremely well in the Maryland event.
“He went to the Nike Camp at Penn State and he participated in the Maryland Junior Combine,” Lattimer said. “From the Maryland Junior Combine, he qualified for the Maryland Elite Combine. He tied for third in the overall rating, which consists of 40, vertical leap, and bench press. He benched 185 pounds 25 times.”
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