Clemson lands a big one

Clemson lands a big one

Daniel High School junior DeAndre Hopkins, a.k.a. "Nuke" by family and friends, says it all came together for him during his trip to Clemson Saturday for Junior Day.

"It was just watching the coaches and seeing how they acted with one another. It was just like they were a family," Hopkins said. "It was the whole atmosphere. Everything just felt like it was right."

It was so right that the two-sport star decided to give Clemson his commitment to be a Clemson Tiger.

"Everything just came together, and it seemed right so I went ahead and decided to do it," Hopkins said. "I committed. Coach [Jeff] Scott was excited about it."

Clemson told Hopkins he can come in as a wide receiver instead of as a defensive back.

Hopkins, who was the Western AAA Player of the Year, has told Clemson in the past that is the position he prefers to play.

Last year, he caught 29 passes for 539 yards and eight scores in a part time capacity. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior was also the Tigers No. 1 prospect at defensive back when he registered 37 tackles and nine interceptions from his cornerback position after leading the Lions to a second straight Western AAA Championship and a 13-1 record.

DeAndre Hopkins
A two-year starter, he has 23 career interceptions, after setting the state record for interceptions as a sophomore with 14.

Hopkins is also a star player on the basketball court where he has won All-Area Player of the Year status as well as Region Player of the Year and All-State honors.

This past year, the Class AAA Player of the Year took the Lions to the third round of the state playoffs and a second straight region title, while averaging 18.8 points, 6.8 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 3.4 steals per game.

He says he isn't sure what his commitment to play football for Clemson means about his basketball career, where he has offers from South Carolina, Florida and Wake Forest.

Clemson has not offered in basketball but it may be possible Hopkins attempts to play for the up-and-coming hardwood Tigers.

"I'm going to talk to some of the guys that tried that here at Clemson and see what they think so I don't have a definite answer for that," he said.

What he does know is that he liked what he saw at Clemson on Saturday and wants to play football for the Tigers.

"I saw the new weight room and how they were building it and what it would look like," he said. "I went to Vickery Hall and saw how important the education was and that was part of it. The coaches talked to me and it just felt right."

Hopkins comes from a line of former Clemson players in his family, including the late Terry Smith - his uncle - who starred at Clemson from 1990-'93, while setting the school's all-time record for receptions, which Aaron Kelly broke this past fall.

"My whole family is behind me 100 percent. Whatever I decide to do, they are behind me. Everybody is all in," Hopkins said.

Hopkins, No. 6 prospect in the state of South Carolina for the class of 2010, chose Clemson over offers from South Carolina, Wisconsin and Tennessee.

He is Clemson's fourth public verbal commitment in the class of 2010.

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