Hopkins credits Morris, strength coaches for record breaking season


by - Staff Writer -
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CHESTNUT HILL, MA- Another school record, another goal on the list checked off.

Junior wide receiver DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins set the school record for receiving yards in a game Saturday night, catching 11 passes for 197 yards in Clemson’s 45-31 victory over Boston College at Alumni Stadium.

With Saturday’s record-breaking performance, Hopkins has set three school records this season - single game receptions record (13 against Auburn) and tied the record for touchdown receptions in a game (three against Furman)- through the first five games of the season.

Hopkins said that broken records are just goals on the list that he has set for himself.

“That’s just on a goal on my list that I have,” Hopkins said after the game “I feel like I have to give thanks to [offensive coordinator] Coach [Chad] Morris for calling the plays and putting the ball in my hands, and giving me the chance to make those catches and have these records.”

Hopkins knew that in order to take his game to the next level, he needed to perfect the little things, and the added strength training helped him accomplish those goals.

“Coming into the offseason, I knew that I needed to work on little things, like being able to beat defenders downfield if I wanted to take my game to the next level. I feel like I’ve done that,” Hopkins said. “Thanks to the strength training coaches for helping me work on my speed and strength to be able to do that.”

Hopkins has 42 receptions for 604 yards on the young season, and he said that he feels like he has proven that he will make plays in clutch situations.

“I feel like I’ve proven so far that I can step up and make plays for this team when I’m needed, but this is just the fifth game in the season so I can’t speak too soon,” Hopkins said.

The Clemson coaches, including head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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, have taken notice.

“Nuk is the most dependable guy we have on this team,” Swinney said. “He makes play after play after play. He does things and makes them so easy. He is just a quiet player that does his job and demands respect. He is a difficult guy to defend.”

Part of Hopkins’ success can be attributed to his relationship with quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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, a relationship that started when each scored the first touchdowns of their career.

“He threw his first touchdown pass to me, and I caught my first touchdown pass from him his red-shirt freshman year and my true freshman year, so we’ve built chemistry during the two off-seasons that we’ve had,” Hopkins said. “We are on the same page and kind of know what each other is going to do.”

Despite setting so many records in the absence of sophomore receiver Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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[out due to virus], Hopkins said that any member of the receiving corps can step up, because there are so many playmakers on the Tiger offense.

“Everybody feels like they have to step up when Sammy’s not here,” Hopkins said. “Everybody is on the same scholarship and all of these wide receivers can make plays. We have to step up and make plays for this team.”

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