The Buckeyes landed one of the nation’s top athletes on Friday, as 4-star Virginia (Dinwiddie HS) linebacker K’Vaughan Pope committed to Ohio State.
Pope (6-2 213) is rated the No. 5 athlete in the nation per Rivals and the No. 7 inside linebacker in the nation per the 247Sports Composite. He announced his commitment at a ceremony early Friday evening.
I AM PROUD TO SAY THAT I AM COMMITTED TO THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY ?️?? pic.twitter.com/2vFW9AuGjs
— THE POPE (@Pop3Bad_81) August 4, 2017
— Matt Estreich (@MattNBC12) August 4, 2017
Pope chose the Buckeyes over offers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, Clemson, Auburn, LSU, Penn State, Notre Dame, Florida, and others.
He is now the second highly-ranked Virginia linebacker to join OSU’s 2018 class, joining 4-star prospect Teradja Mitchell.
Playing wide receiver, tight end, and middle linebacker last season, Pope led his Dinwiddie team all the way to a state championship game loss last season, catching eight passes for 139 yards in high final high school contest. He earned First-Team All-State honors at both tight end and linebacker last season.
As a player, Pope’s overall skill set is reminiscent of current Buckeye linebacker Jerome Baker. Baker was a tremendous offensive player in high school and was able to bring some of those skills over to the defensive side of the ball at Ohio State. Similarly, Pope is an offensive playmaker who also happens to be a very good linebacker. And when he gets the football on defense, he immediately becomes an offensive player looking for the end zone.
Here’s a little bit of what Pope is capable of on the football field.
Here's a pretty good synopsis of what K'Vaughan Pope can do on the football field. pic.twitter.com/haD30fXbDs
— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) August 4, 2017
The commitment now gives Ohio State three linebackers, with Toledo’s Dallas Gant joining Mitchell and Pope. With Mitchell projecting to the middle, Gant and Pope are both athletic enough to play either of the outside spots. Given his all-around background, however, Pope would fit more at the Sam than Gant.
The Buckeyes now sit at 17 commitments, with plenty of names still out there to watch. Expect seven or eight more commitments before February, and don’t be surprised by a decommitment or two along the way. In fact, at this point it would be wise to expect it.
[K’Vaughan Pope photo courtesy of progress-index.com]