Former Americus High standouts Kent Hill and Leonard Pope named to Georgia High School Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024

Published 2:04 pm Thursday, May 23, 2024

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AMERICUS – The Georgia High School Football Hall of Fame recently released its list of the Class of 2024 and two former Americus High football standouts Kent Hill and Leonard Pope were both selected to be on that list.

Hill, a 1975 graduate of Americus High, played his college ball at Georgia Tech as an offensive lineman and was selected in the first round of the 1979 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams.

Hill played nine seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Rams. During his career, he played in a total of 132 games with 114 starts and was named to five pro bowls.

Hill retired from professional football after the 1987 season. After retirement, he was the Director of Student-Athlete Development at Georgia Tech from 1989 to 1998. Later in life, he became a corporate personnel development consultant.

Leonard Pope graduated from Americus High in 2003 and played his college football at the University of Georgia as a tight end. In his three seasons with the Bulldogs, Pope caught 65 passes for 1,044 yards with a 16.1 yards average and scored 10 touchdowns.

Pope was selected in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. In 2007, Pope emerged as a red zone target for the Cardinals and caught five touchdown passes. However, a year later, he caught just nine passes total (none for touchdowns) and was waived by the Cardinals on September 4, 2009.

Things went much better for Pope when he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009. During his three seasons with the Chiefs, Pope scored a total of four touchdowns, but in 2011, he started 10 games and set career highs in receptions and yards and tied his career high in average yards per catch.

Pope also had brief stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Bears.

Pope has four brothers, four sisters, two daughters (Cheryan and Laila Pope) and three sons (Leonard Pope IV, Lucas Rylan Pope and Lawson Reid Pope).

Back in June of 2011, Pope saved six-year-old Bryson Moore from drowning.

Pope, whose nickname is “Champ”, has a charity foundation called CHAMP (Creating Hope and Making Progress) to help under-privileged children.

Information in this article was obtained from