RB Darius Hopkins is Visiting Arkansas on Saturday

Nashville (Ark.) running back Darius Hopkins (6-1, 185) will be one of four unofficial visitors for Arkansas' third spring practice Saturday.

Darius Hopkins will be one of four unofficial visitors for Arkansas' third spring practice Saturday.

The Nashville (Ark.) running back has been to Fayetteville before - he came to the Razorbacks' game against Alabama a couple years ago - but he is looking forward to being back on campus.

Being a running back, Hopkins is naturally excited about Arkansas' run-oriented offense.

"(I'm looking forward to) just talking to the coaches and watching them practice and seeing how it is," Hopkins said. "I have a strong interest in that. They have good running backs and a big o-line, so I'm very interested in that."

Hopkins will be joined by teammate and offensive lineman Kirby Adcock, as well as New Orleans (La.) John Curtis safety Garret Wallow and New Orleans (La.) Riverdale linebacker Josh Clarke, who are all on unofficial visits, too.

As an Arkansas native, Hopkins has always cheered for the Razorbacks, making the Alabama game and the Toledo game at War Memorial Stadium last season even more enjoyable, despite the outcomes.

"I've grown up watching (Arkansas)," Hopkins said. "That's the hometown team and everybody likes the Hogs. (The atmosphere) was crazy and like no other. The fans are loud and support big time."

Last season, Hopkins rushed for 1,614 yards and 27 touchdowns on 202 carries. He also returned punts and returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns on defense.

The performance led Nashville to a perfect 15-0 season and the Arkansas Class 4A state championship, with a 39-20 win over Iowa State signee Dylan Soehner and Prairie Grove.

"It was magical," Hopkins said. "It was hard to believe. We just rode the wave and won it all."

Making the title run even more impressive was the Nashville had to replace its best player - Arkansas wide receiver LaMichael Pettway - and head coach - Billy Dawson - who took the head coaching job at Russellville in the offseason.

"It was surprising," Hopkins said. "Everybody had high expectations because in junior high, we went undefeated. The seniors, juniors and sophomores, we all went undefeated in junior high.

"Coach (Mike Volarvich) came in and everybody was hyped about Coach V. It started off slow, but it all clicked at the right time."

Since winning the football championship, Hopkins helped the Scrappers' basketball team reach the playoffs and scored a team-high 24 points in a first-round loss to Huntsville. Now he shifts his focus to track, where he competes in the 100- and 200-meter dash, as well as the 4x100-meter relay.

Both sports, Hopkins hopes, will increase his speed and help him in the fall.

"I want to keep working on my speed," Hopkins said. "I think I'm pretty fast, but I want to keep that speed. (Also) footwork and agility, and becoming a better blocker, which I know at the college level, that's the biggest thing, so work on that and pick up a little extra weight."

When he finally does step back onto the gridiron, Hopkins said he thinks Nashville will be ready to go from the start of fall camp, preparing to defend its state title.

"I think it'll start out a lot quicker," Hopkins said. "We're used to Coach V, we're used to his plays and used to the system, so I think we'll come out a lot faster than the year before."

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