Nuk says he hasn't changed since NFL Draft


by - Senior Writer -
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DeAndre Hopkins poses with Cohen Moore (L) and Cason Moore (R) in Easley Thursday.

DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins life has changed in many ways since the April NFL Draft, but he says the outward changes haven’t changed the man inside.

Hopkins took the best season of his collegiate career and turned it into an NFL paycheck. Becoming a first round draft pick was a dream he realized in April when the Houston Texans selected him with the 27th overall pick.

Hopkins was in Easley Thursday afternoon, signing autographs for hundreds of fans at the grand opening of the new Sam’s Club. Clemson fans wound up and down aisles for the chance to get an autographed picture or football with one of the best receivers in Clemson history.

Hopkins smiled and took time with every fan, even playing the part of a politician by holding babies, making it clear that his newfound celebrity hasn’t changed the real Nuk Hopkins.

“It has been a blessing. All of this,” Hopkins told TigerNet Thursday. “But nothing has really changed for me. I have the same mindset and the same determination to keep getting better. Nothing has really changed – I just have more fans now. But nothing has changed me.”

Hopkins said that sitting with his family on draft night and hearing his name called was the culmination of a lot of hard work.

“That night was really special, for me and my family,” he said. “Everything I have worked for and all my dreams came true that night. It was a blessing for me and for my family. I worked for it and prayed for it to come true and everything came into place.”

Hopkins has gotten several chances to meet with his new teammates and impress his new coaches as the Texans have gone through a mini camp and OTA’s, and Hopkins said he relished to chance to find his place with his new team.

“All of those guys are great. They take care of the young guys,” he said. “It was a learning experience but it was a great experience. It was good to meet all of my teammates and get to know them a little better. I wanted to prove that I am a hard worker and that I am going to come in and help the team.”

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