Hopkins excited about the possibilities


by - Senior Writer -
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Hopkins led the team in receiving a year ago, the first freshman receiver to lead the team since Derrick Hamilton in 2001.

CLEMSON – Nuk Hopkins said he saw his share of double teams at the end of last season when the Clemson offense was struggling to score points.

With an infusion of young talent and new offensive system, however, Hopkins said he thinks and hopes he sees more single coverage in 2011 and a lot more points on the scoreboard.

“It is going to be hard to double-team one of us, because someone is going to be open,” Hopkins said after practice this week. “You have seen this offense – it is all about taking advantage of mismatches. This season is going to be different, and it’s all about recruiting. Defenses are not going to be able to key on one person like they did last year. There is so much talent at the wide receiver position now.”

Hopkins said the sheer number of talented players at the position will also be a help, especially at the end of the season.

“I don’t think anyone is going to go out there and get more than 60 snaps in a game like we did last season,” he said. “We are going to keep running fresh legs in there to make plays. And these new guys – they are hungry. They want to come out there and win a championship. Even though they weren’t here, they aren’t happy with where this team finished last year. They are going to help us a lot.”

Hopkins led the team in receiving a year ago, the first freshman receiver to lead the team since Derrick Hamilton in 2001.

He said on Monday, however, that he hopes his record lasts just one year

“I told all of those guys that they can break all my records,” he said. “Just go out and play hard, and if one of y’all come in and take my spot and we win a championship, then I am happy with it. I don’t want to speak too early, but I feel like if everybody does their job, we are going to have a great season.”

Hopkins was told that he now sounds like a true leader, and he said that is a role he embraced over the summer.

“I feel like I have to be a leader to some of these guys. Some of these guys are going to face some hard times, and being a leader is how you help people when they are down,” he said. “And being a leader means being a leader on the football field and off the football field.

“Last year, people like Marquan [Jones] and Jamie [Harper] took me under their wing, and they showed me the ropes. There were times I didn’t know what I was doing, and they were patient with me and they were always there to answer my questions. That is how Jaron [Brown] and I are treating these guys this year.”


Hopkins said he has been pleased with how quickly the freshmen have picked up the offense, and I asked him to give me a two word answer that best describes each of the top four freshmen.

*Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Wide Receiver
#1 6-4, 195
Anderson, SC

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. “Hard working. He works harder than people think.”

*Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Wide Receiver
#7 6-2, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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. “Different. He always does things the right way. He always has his playbook and he is such a student of the game. He came in here, at the first practice, with the mindset that he was going to start and he did it.”

*Charone PeakeCharone Peake
Wide Receiver
#19 6-4, 210
Moore, SC

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. “Quiet assassin.”

*Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
Wide Receiver
#13 5-11, 175
Spartanburg, SC

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. “Tyler GrishamTyler Grisham
Wide Receiver
# 5-11, 185
Birmingham, AL

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. They look like twins, honestly. Adam is a hard worker, and he wasn’t a highly-recruited guy coming in here and he knew he would have to work. I salute guys like Adam.”

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