Personifying perseverance: Texas super senior Tope Imade to finish 6-season Longhorns career Friday

Horns Report

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Tope Imade will take the field at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium Friday for the final time in six seasons on the Forty Acres.

After three coaching changes, multiple position changes, and the passing of his mother, Imade has found a way to remain upbeat and positive despite dealing with so much pain.

Imade is a five-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, has two degrees and will earn a third degree in marketing from the McCombs School of Business.

Everything Imade has faced, good and bad, makes that final run out of the tunnel on Friday even more special.

“It’s going to mean a lot to me, this Friday, having my friends, supporters out there with me…running out with a picture of my mom, is going to mean a lot,” Imade said.

Imade lost his mother, Betty, to cancer in March, causing him to miss a portion of spring football.

He says the way the team and coaching staff rallied around him in that time of tragedy is one of the reasons why he believes in Steve Sarkisian’s staff, particularly offensive line coach Kyle Flood.

“The day of the spring game, we’re warming up, I’m at tackle, and he comes up to me and says, ‘You know she’s watching,’ and I was like, ‘Man, what are you talking about?’ He says, ‘Your mother,’ and I’m like wow… keep in mind, I’ve only known this guy for two months,” Imade explained.

“For him to say that to me, I’m like, ‘Anything you need Coach Flood, I’ll do that for you.’ For him to say that, football…that can take a backseat, there are bigger things in life than just football,” Imade said.

Imade doesn’t just think the coaches are good people, he also thinks they are good coaches. Despite the losing streak, he believes the future is bright for the program.

“I know from the short time I’ve had with Coach Sark, he is the guy,” Imade declared. “Coach Flood comes in, I move to tackle November 2020, I miss spring ball because of the passing of my mom, I come back the last week [of spring ball] to play tackle, move back to guard August 2021, and for Coach Flood to develop me…I see walk-ons developing and that’s amazing, I’ve never seen that here before.”

The “old man” on the team says he’ll continue to do what he can to help the program after he hangs up his cleats.

“After this game, that’s not going to be my last time interacting with this team, I’m going to motivate, I’m going to help recruit,” Imade said. “My efforts to help the University of Texas to be better does not stop once I’m done.”

And once he’s done, Imade, a huge Disney fan, hopes to work for Disney Plus in their marketing department.

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