Hopkins steals the show

CLEMSON — Though there were a lot of good individual performances at the 7-on-7 team tournament at Clemson University Saturday, no one stood out more than Daniel High School's DeAndre Hopkins.

The Clemson commitment was unstoppable on both sides of the ball. The 6-foot-2, 174-pound rising senior was ball-hawking all over the field. Besides hauling in seven touchdown receptions, he also tallied three interceptions and knocked down several other passes.

In the secondary, he played both at corner and at safety, while generally shutting down every teams' best offensive player, while not giving up a catch.

On the offensive side of the ball, he showed crisper route running than he has in the past and caught everything thrown his way. He made at least one or two one-handed grabs in every game and could have had more if he had kept his feet in on a few of them.

Hopkins teammate, rising junior Antonio Cannon, also looked impressive. Cannon had a couple of one-handed stabs himself and also made a couple of diving catches. Cannon stands roughly around 6-foot-1, 190 pounds.

The other Daniel Lion the Clemson coaches were probably watching Saturday was defensive back J.P. Hill, who held his own and had a couple of picks. The 6-foot-3, 170-pound safety grabbed six interceptions in 2008 for Daniel.

Besides what Hopkins was doing, there was also a lot of conversation about Sumter quarterback Stephen Curtis. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound gun slinger was showing off his arm big time. Curtis has a strong presence about him, especially the way he stands in the pocket and delivers the football.

He stands tall, almost Payton Manning like, when he throws. Most of his passes were very accurate, especially when he threw the post or on flag routes. Clemson isn't looking to recruit a quarterback for the 2010 class, but Curtis was definitely impressive in the 7-on-7 games.

Gaffney wide receiver Joe Craig also participated in the tournament. The Clemson commitment had a very good afternoon catching the football, while also showing off his speed. The 6-foot, 160-pound receiver runs a 4.32 in the forty.

Though he did not play much, Callaway High School's LaMichael Fanning of Hogansville, Ga., was a man amongst boys and stood out from most of the players thanks to his 6-foot-7, 270-pound frame. Besides Clemson, the 2011 prospect is receiving interest from Georgia, Alabama and Georgia Tech and from what we are hearing is a strong lean to Georgia.

Fanning is expected to be a defensive end at the college level, but he plays defensive end and tight end at Callaway. His teammates, quarterback Quantevious Leslie (a project wide receiver in college) and running back Quan Bray, also looked good Saturday. Though Leslie will not play quarterback in college, he showed off a pretty big arm at times.

Clemson's 2010 commitment Jake Nicolopulos joined his T.L. Hanna teammates at the tournament Saturday and for the most part played well, but there were times when he seemed out of place and was beat on a few plays. He was also playing tight end. His teammate, and another Clemson commitment for 2010, wide receiver Martavis Bryant did not play due to a bad ankle.

Finally, Woodland High School's Robert Smith of Dorchester (S.C.) is really getting strong interest from Clemson. He played quarterback for his team on Saturday, but word is the Tigers are seeking out this 5-foot-11, 190-pound athlete to play either corner or safety.

Smith is a member of the 2011 class.

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