Time to shine

DeAndre Hopkins

CLEMSON - DeAndre Hopkins is now nipping at Dwayne Allen's heels as Clemson's top pass catcher.

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CUTigersTV: DeAndre Hopkins



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In fact, the freshman wide receiver just around the corner has 17 receptions for 165 yards and a touchdown in six games. He trails Allen by just three catches for the team lead.

"Dwayne's getting double-teamed just about every time, because everybody knows that he's one of our main targets in the passing game," Hopkins said. "We take pressure off of him a little bit, when he's getting double teamed."

Jaron Brown, the starter opposite of Hopkins, is tied for third on the team with 13 catches and is second with 215 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

Hopkins believes that Kyle Parker has begun to develop a comfort-level with both he and Brown. It started on the practice field and has begun to show on the game field.

Eight of Brown's catches have come in the last three games. During that same stretch, Hopkins, who missed a game, has 11.

"Kyle knows who to get the ball to in times where we need a play," Hopkins said. "Right now, Kyle, I guess feels like I'm that guy—Jaron also. Both of us know, on third-down, run our routes hard so Kyle can see us and get the ball."


Freshman wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins leads all Clemson wide outs with 17 catches this season. (Roy Philpott)
Just over halfway through the schedule, he's already become a fan-favorite. Each catch he makes in Death Valley is followed by cheers his lifelong nickname ‘Nuke'.

Amidst the ultra-quick success and popularity, Hopkins wants to keep the pressure at bay.

"I try not to put much pressure [on myself]. The less pressure, the more I know I can play natural," he said. "When I came in here, I kind of knew it was going to be like that, from a receiver depth standpoint."

Hopkins' comfort level continues to grow with each passing week.

"I'm going back to the basics of what I know," he said. "I feel like I can go out there and show my talent. Right now, I've got more things down. I'm just more comfortable."

Clemson is back on the road against Boston College this weekend—just the third road game of the season.

After games at Auburn and North Carolina, Hopkins has discovered that he doesn't mind playing in front of a raucous crowd.

"I kind of like playing on the road," he said. "I feel comfortable on the road. I like it when people are against me, and I come out and show them wrong. I like playing on the road."

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