Hopkins ready to commit?

There have been rumors circulating one of the top two-sport athletes in the nation for the class of 2010 could be ready to commit this weekend. Are they true?

Daniel High School defensive back DeAndre Hopkins says despite the fact he grew up a Clemson fan, he has no intentions of committing to the Clemson football program this weekend when he visits for junior day.

Simply put, it's still too early to make a decision.

The Central, S.C, native, which is literally five minutes down the road from Clemson University, says his main goal this weekend is to get to know the coaching staff a little better.

"I'm familiar with the school, the campus, the classrooms and all that stuff because I live around here, but it is just me getting to know them a little better and getting a little better sense of coach-and-player chemistry," he said.

Hopkins says he has spoken with most of the coaches at Clemson, but he primarily talks to running backs coach Andre Powell, whose wife Jodi is the girls' basketball coach at Daniel High School.

This Tigers may also use this weekend to see how they will want to recruit the two-sport star, who is the Western AAA Player of the Year in basketball for a second straight year. He was also the Player of the Year in football and has won area player of the year honors in both sports as well.

Daniel head football coach Randy Robinson said Clemson defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison thinks the world of him and Jeff Scott, recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach, thinks he has the tools to be a wide receiver.

"They both have said that he is No. 1 on both of their boards," Robinson said.

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

But Hopkins isn't too bad as a wide receiver either. He caught 29 passes for 539 yards and eight scores in a part time capacity last fall. Against Logoff-Elgin in the third-round of the state playoffs, he was virtually responsible for 14 points in a span of 15 seconds and then had a crucial interception that keyed his team's 28-7 victory.

DeAndre Hopkins
Just before the half he willed his way into the end zone for a 23-yard score and moments later when Lugoff threw up a Hail Mary at the end of the half, he picked it off and returned it 77 yards for a touchdown.

"He likes to go up and get the ball," Robinson said.

Besides Clemson, Hopkins also has offers from both South Carolina and Tennessee in football. He also has offers from South Carolina, Florida and Wake Forest in basketball.

"South Carolina calls every day it seems and asks are they still the only school that has offers in both," Robinson said.

Hopkins says he and his family like Clemson and the fact his mother liked what she saw last year and the fact Clemson stressed academics. But that was before Tommy Bowden resigned.

"His mother met Coach Bowden last year and loved the academic side of things so it looked real good for Clemson. Since the coaching change, I don't know if that is still the case," Robinson said.

And that's why Hopkins is going to junior day this weekend.

"I'm just going up there to just chill with them and hangout or whatever for a day and hopefully get a little chemistry going," he said. "I want to see what they have going on for next year and what my future could be like if I did decide to become a Clemson Tiger."

And if he does, then he will be a Clemson Tiger, just like his uncle - the late Terry Smith.

"That's my mom's brother and she has always told me to live my own legacy and try not to follow in my uncle's footsteps, even though he is my uncle," Hopkins said. "I love Clemson and I will always be a fan no matter if I do pick another school to go to. Growing up I always liked them, but I did not always say that's who I would only want to play for or nothing like that."

As for right now, Hopkins says he is going to keep his options open and Robinson feels his star player will take visits elsewhere. Hopkins also has not ruled out playing basketball at the next level either.

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