Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd announced recently that he would be staying on campus for his senior year. However, he will be without his most consistent, and then spectacular, weapon over the last three seasons.
Tigers star wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, has chosen to forgo his senior year in order to enter the NFL Draft, according to Yahoo! Sports.
”It is tough to leave because this is my home, this is the place I wanted to play since I came out of the womb,” Hopkins said in statement from the school. ”But, I feel it is best for me and my family to take my talents to NFL at this time.”
Hopkins put up good but not great numbers in first two seasons in Death Valley. As a wide-eyed freshman in 2010, Hopkins caught 51 passes for 626 yards and four scores. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound South Carolina native broke into a bigger, more nationally recognized role in his second season. Hopkins hauled in 71 passes for 961 yards and five touchdowns.
An excellent level of improvement from one year to the next, Hopkins did not slow down in what proved to be his final year at Clemson.
In fact, the man broke records.
Boyd threw 36 touchdown passes in 2012, and half of them literally, went to Hopkins. On the year, he caught 82 passes for a school-record 1,405 yards. His 18 touchdown receptions are a new ACC record.
Hopkins saved his best for last. In his Tigers’ upset of the LSU Tigers, the star receiver piled up 191 yards on 13 receptions and two touchdowns. It won’t come up in the box score, but his spectacular, sliding 26-yard grab on fourth-and-16 helped keep Clemson’s game-winning drive alive.
Obviously, his coach, Dabo Swinney, would love to have him back. However, the two spoke several times before Hopkins made his decision and Swinney is entirely on-board.
”I fully support him … He has the best hands and ability to catch the ball in traffic I have seen in a long time,” Swinney said.