Ohio State added yet another talented out-of-state player to its defense today, as 4-star Dinwiddie County (VA.) LB K’Vaughan Pope signed his letter of intent to become a Buckeye.
The 6’2, 210-pound Pope is rated as the No. 212 overall prospect, and No. 8 best ILB in the class of 2018 by the 247Sports Composite, and had offers from other national powerhouses such as Georgia and Florida. Pope is the second Virginian in Ohio State’s 2018 class, joining fellow linebacker Teradja Mitchell for the trip from the Old Dominion State to Columbus.
Here’s what the versatile Pope brings to the Silver Bullets:
Pope’s ability on the field is undeniable. He’s got prototypical linebacker size, albeit with a little more weight to add, and a massive ceiling because of his athleticism. He doesn’t have fantastic speed, and will certainly end up as an inside linebacker at Ohio State because of his lack of elite top-end speed, but he’s absurdly strong, and plays with more power than just about any other linebacker in the country.
He plays on both sides of the ball for his high school team, and essentially just serves as a tank on offense, which he carries over to his defensive style as well. He lines up as a running back, tight end, wide receiver, pretty much anywhere you can imagine, and just destroys defenses with his strength and power.
That hard-hitting, physically imposing style transitions extremely well to the defense, as he frequently blows up the run with his hitting ability, while his natural athleticism lets him run with backs and tight ends in coverage. He’s never going to a quarterback-seeking missile like Darron Lee was, but he’s the linebacker equivalent of a sledgehammer in run coverage, and his tape reminds me a lot of former Buckeye and current Dolphin Raekwon McMillan.