After spending last week in South Carolina we headed back to the state of Georgia for a look at another target in the 2022 class. 2022 S Jake Pope and the Buford Wolves, one of the most consistent programs in the state, have had another huge season despite moving up in classification this season, and on Friday night they faced a second round matchup with the Cambridge Bears. Pope and the Wolves dominated on both sides of the football once again in a 42-7 win as they advanced to the third round of the GHSA 6A state playoffs.
It wasn’t a gaudy night statistically for Pope, but he made the most of the plays that came his way. He shined the most on the defensive side of the football, finishing with four total tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack and one pass defended. On the offensive side, he caught a pass behind the line of scrimmage and made some nice moves in the open field to pick up 15 yards on his lone touch of the night. He also handled punt return duties on the night and took his only return of the night for ten yards.
Pope may not have put together his most complete performance of his season, but he still showed some flashes of what has made one of the more intriguing prospects in the 2022 class that has played football this fall. He has the closing speed and range to cover sideline-to-sideline on the back end of the defense and even though he has a smaller frame, he can lay the wood, as well. His coverage ability might be among some of the tops among safeties in the class and with the aggressive mindset that the Buford defense plays with, he is put in a lot of one-on-one man coverage situations and thrives in them, something this Tar Heel defense is looking for. His ability to make plays on the football might be the most attractive part of his defensive skillset, though, as he has been creating interceptions consistently throughout the season. The Tar Heels have been looking for players that can create turnovers and Pope can do that. As a receiver, Pope has reliable hands and can make things happen after the catch. That shiftiness makes him a threat in the punt return game, another area he could help you in.
The plan for this week is to head to Texas for a look at 2022 4✮ PRO Cade Klubnik.