Notable Hopkins quotes"It was an exciting moment. I was honored to be called to be part of the Houston Texans. It was a great moment."
"I've been hearing the buzz that Andre Johnson wanted another receiver on the other side of him. When I heard he said that, I was like, ‘Man, I'm that guy. I can help this team win championships.'"
"I really don't have any expectations, personally. I just want to win championships. That's my expectation, to come in and help us win championships."
"I'm a level headed player. I don't really get too emotional during the game. That'll take me out of it. Big moments, my teammates trust me and come to me. It's just what I do as a football player."
"I played defense in high school. When the ball is in the air, I feel like it's mine, no matter who it is or the situation. I feel like I've got to come down with the ball, or at least knock it away. I'm always trying to get a hand on the ball. I've got a pretty good vertical. I'm able to high point the ball."
"I don't really feel like I compare to anybody. I feel like I'm a unique player. I feel like I'm my own. I feel like I have something different to bring."
The coordinator's takePrior to Hopkins' interview with Houston media, Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison spoke after Hopkins was picked in the draft.
The following is an edited transcript from that interview.
Dennison: He has great ball skills, just catches the ball naturally, a good run after the catch. He's just a complete player.
Did you investigate the combine trashed hotel room?
Dennison: Enough to know it's a non-issue.
What did y'all do to check that out?
Dennison: We had Larry check it out, our wide receiver coach, watched the security tapes. We feel real comfortable about the kid, his background. Just everything he's done at Clemson has all been very, very positive.
He was extremely productive at Clemson. What are the similarities with what he did at Clemson and what he'll do here?
Dennison: Especially last year, his route content was very large. Like you said, he was productive. He got better every year. He had more catches. Last year was his best year. Eighteen touchdowns is quite a few for one season. The thing to us that stuck out in our minds, when watching he's very competitive. He catches the ball in a crowd. It doesn't matter to him. Go up and get the ball. And he competes, wears the DBs out. He's just physical. That's what translates. That's what we believe we carry week to week. That's what we ask our guys to do, to compete. He really fits that mold for us.
Can you describe your excitement level as it was getting closer and you saw that he was still on the board?
Dennison: I was just holding my breath. As we went through it, he was the guy that I really liked amongst the wide receiver crew. It's a good group. He was the one that I would prefer that we had. I was kind of holding my breath at the end. We knew it was a great day to have him there.
What are your expectations of him as a rookie?
Dennison: You fit in with the group. We know he'll compete. He'll go out there with the rest of our guys and compete, get his chance to take his snaps and to get his balls. He'll beat man coverage just by being physical. He has great length and great ball skills. He plays fast. Has explosion in his routes. I think he'll do a great job for us.
How much did you like that he was productive in every year that he was at Clemson?
Dennison: That's the thing. Every year, he got more and more production. He caught more balls. It didn't look like anything was too big for him. I'll say it that way. Whatever he's asked to do. When you look at his bowl game performance, when the stage got bigger, he just kept playing bigger and bigger.
There was one comparison that said he reminded them of Greg Jennings. Is there anyone on our level that you think his game draws a comparison to?
Dennison: There's quite a few. One guy texted me, Roddy White from Atlanta, thought he played a lot like him. To me, he goes out there, and wants the ball, will catch the ball when it gets in his zip code. That's the thing that I like about him.
At the combine he ran a 4.51. At his pro day he ran a 4.4. You guys liked his speed?
Dennison: He's fast enough to win. If it's a contested ball, we feel like he's going to come down with it. And his length is great, long arms. He can be covered and still catch the ball.
Can you talk about his physicality in blocking and the things he'll do in the running game?
Dennison: Well, he's a big man. Obviously, you guys know he played basketball early on at Clemson, which is a pretty good feat also. He's gained some weight. Now, he's 214. When DBs went up to press, whether it was run or pass, they had a problem. That's what I saw. They were getting thrown around. You could see his strength on film.
Notes*Hopkins is the 23rd first-round selection in Clemson history, the first since C.J. Spiller was the ninth pick of the NFL Draft in 2010.
*Hopkins is the first Clemson wide receiver to be selected in the first round since Rod Gardner was the number 15 selection of the Washington Redskins in 2001.
*Hopkins will be coached by Texans wide receivers coach Larry Kirksey, who was on the University of Alabama coaching staff when Dabo Swinney was a player, and then a graduate assistant coach with the Crimson Tide (1990-93).
*Hopkins is the first Clemson player to leave the school after his junior year and become a first round pick since Anthony Simmons was the 15th pick of the first round in the 1998 draft. Trevor Pryce (1997) and Chester McGlockton (1992) are the other two Clemson juniors to come out early and be a first round selection.
*Hopkins is the first Clemson player to be drafted by the Houston Texans in history.
Only two former Clemson players have played for the Texans, Dexter McCleon on 2006 and Thomas Austin in 2011.
*Hopkins selection means Clemson has had at least one player taken in the NFL draft for 11 consecutive years. The Tigers have had at least one offensive player taken in the draft 10 straight years.
*Hopkins is the fifth Clemson wide receiver drafted by the NFL in the last 10 years.
All five have been coached by Dabo Swinney as either an assistant coach or head coach. The others are Derrick Hamilton (2004), Airese Currie (2005), Chansi Stuckey (2007) and Jacoby Ford (2010).
*Based on history Hopkins is in good position to make the Texans as a rookie. Each of the last 47 Clemson players drafted within the first 70 picks went on to play in the NFL. The streak goes back to 1963.
*Hopkins is the first Clemson player taken with the 27th pick of the draft since 1951 when Fred Cone was the 27th pick (in the third round) by the Green Bay Packers.
*Hopkins is the 10th ACC wide receiver drafted in the first or second round since 2006.
*With the selection of Hopkins and four others, the ACC has now had at least one first round draft choice in each of the last 25 years.
*At 20 years, 10 months and 13 days, Hopkins is the youngest first-round draft choice in Clemson history. The previous youngest was linebacker Anthony Simmons, who was drafted on April 18, 1998 at the age of 21 years, 9 months and 29 days