The Pitt football programs pursuit of talent in Texas continued on Tuesday with an offer to a talented defensive back.
Class of 2022 safety Marquan Pope (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) from Guyer High School in Denton, Texas had an afternoon conversation with Randy Bates, in which he received an offer from Pitt. Pope also holds offers from Army, Air Force, Kansas, Liberty, Navy and Tulsa.
In a conversation following the offer from Pitt, Pope told Pittsburgh Sports Now that his conversation with the Panthers started a month ago and that led to today’s big news.
”Today, I talked with Coach Bates and he offered me,” Pope tells Pittsburgh Sports Now. “Man, I love that guy, it was such a great conversation. He was so personable and I just felt like I could thrive there if I do end up going there. It’s important to me that I believe that not only could I thrive there as a player but also as a person.”
“During our conversation, Coach Bates went into depth talking to me about Pitt. He talked to me about the players, the staff and how close they are with the Pittsburgh Steelers. That’s a potential game-changer to me because after college, my goal is to make it to the NFL. It would be great to be around an NFL environment, NFL players and see how they work and train. That’s something very intriguing to me. Coach also asked a lot of questions about myself and really seemed to get to know me, which is amazing because it shows me that they want to get to know me as a person and my character before anything. That was very impressive to me and tells me they’re not just looking for good football players.”
2020-2021 Season Stats:
— The Pope (@MarquanPope) January 11, 2021
Pope fits exactly what Pitt is looking for as he’s a very smart, articulate person but a good player as well. Currently, he plays safety but with his size, Bates believes he has the athletic ability to convert to linebacker, like former safety Phil Campbell did after signing with Pitt as a safety.
“They told me they love how versatile that I can be,” said Pope. “I feel like I can cover anybody in the country. They also like how I’m also able to come down and lay the wood when needed. I take pride in myself that I’m able to do so much for a team and he really enjoyed that when looking at my film. Coach also talked about me possibly playing the SAM linebacker position. I’m definitely still growing and getting into my body so I could grow more, gain more weight and grow into that true linebacker position or I could just grow into playing as a true safety. It’s still unknown but with my current body size, I believe I’m a safety that can lay the wood and come down and make plays in the box.
“I’m looking for a school that wants me as a person and a football player and that’s able to help develop me as a man. I want to be at a place where I’m able to learn life lessons and also develop friendships that I’ll carry with me throughout my entire life. I’m big into relationship and want to be able to develop ones that last way past my college years. I’m not just looking for here and now, I’m looking for ones 30 years down the road.”
Pope says he’s open to attend a school anywhere, depending on the fit. He and his family are already looking into him possibly making a summer time trip to visit Pitt.
“I would definitely love to come up and check out Pitt because I know it’s a great school and want to come check it out first-hand.”