It is always good to go and look for more information on the newest Houston Texans and we asked for help from Brian Lewis who covers the Clemson Tigers football team on Shakin’ The Southland.
We wanted to find out more about DeAndre Hopkins and how he performed at Clemson and get Brian’s thoughts on how Hopkins could project moving forward as a Houston Texan.
What can you tell us about DeAndre Hopkins and his time at Clemson?
Ever since Hopkins stepped on campus most fans knew he would be special. He is a local guy (graduating from Daniel High School in Clemson) and one of the biggest frustrations from Clemson fans is that we don’t get a chance to give him a proper sendoff on Senior Day this coming year. He has shown real improvement each season at Clemson and is a wide receiver that will go and get the ball. His performances against Auburn and LSU this past year were simply spectacular. Everything thrown to him seemed to be caught and he went after the ball without a single care towards the man defending him. Though he doesn’t have pure speed like some receivers, he does have football speed and woe betide any linebackers that are forced to cover him.
Does Hopkins still have room to grow as a wide receiver? If so, what does he need to work on?
Probably his biggest area of improvement is going to come off the ball, especially in blocking. Hopkins has the willingness to do it, but needs to work on technique. I’d also like to see him add a bit of muscle to help fight off NFL DB’s, especially with his tendency to go after the ball at its highest point.
Is Hopkins an immediate impact type of player?
I think he can be. When he arrived on campus, it was a shock that it took even half a season for him to break into the starting lineup and he had success even as the only receiver who could catch the ball that year. Quarterback Tajh Boyd has always trusted Hopkins to make the big plays. It seemed like any critical third down over the past 2 seasons involved getting the ball into Hopkins’ hands, and he delivered.
What can Texans’ fans expect from Hopkins the player and Hopkins the person?
As a player, you are getting someone who isn’t going to take plays off and someone who is going to make some plays. He isn’t flashy and my guess is alot of fans outside of Houston aren’t going to know who he is, but Hopkins is okay with that. He is a good kid and, as he grows as both a player and a leader, he will be a great locker room influence. By starting him opposite of Andre Johnson, the Texans will set up pretty nicely to succeed on the offensive side of the ball.
Hopkins the basketball player.
What made Hopkins so successful his final season at Clemson?
The early suspension and then illness of Sammy Watkins certainly helped. Boyd was forced to go to Hopkins early and the partnership continued through the entire season. Even when Watkins returned, it seemed like he played second fiddle to the Boyd-Hopkins route. This was also the first season where Hopkins devoted the entire offseason to football. After his freshman year, Hopkins played basketball for Clemson and that hurt him coming into the 2011 season. The offseason between 2011 and 2012 allowed Hopkins to really put some work into becoming a complete football player.
How do you envision Hopkins’ future playing out in the NFL?
I think he is going to have a solid and quite possibly spectacular career. With his work ethic, I don’t think the transition to the NFL will be too difficult for him, and with the number of NFL offenses that like to throw the ball around, he’s going to have alot of opportunities to get the ball in his hands. The only concern I would have is his height, especially against some of the DB’s in the league.