Hopkins off to strong start

CLEMSON - It may just be offseason workouts, but DeAndre Hopkins is already off to a fast start.

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For many months now this web site publisher has suggested former Daniel High School standout DeAndre Hopkins may be the most physically ready to compete for significant playing than any other signee in the 2010 recruiting class.

While it's only offseason workouts, so far that prediction seems to be off to a fast start- almost as fast as Hopkins himself.

"Not to brag or anything but today I did 1-on-1's and I went 5-0," he told CUTigers after Thursday's workouts. "I feel like I have to learn the plays to get in, but physical-wise I definitely feel like I'm ready. No doubt."

There's just something about Hopkins and it's not all built around speed. Oh sure, he'll be clocked in the 4.5 range. But there's something else about him that just make it feel like he's ready.

The enormous hands certainly help and the knack for making the big catch in traffic should also be a plus once preseason camp and the 2010 season gets underway.

But of course, it's not all fun and games and he's not dominating every time he steps foot on the field.

Despite being a four-star prospect by Scout.com and the No. 13 cornerback in the nation, Hopkins has had to make several adjustments.

He said he's already been fine-tuning his skills going against what may be one of the best defenses he'll see all season.

"It hit me the other day and I went against [Byron] Maxwell I was kind of like, 'this is college right here and I've got to get ready for this. I feel like going against a defense that is going to be one of the best defenses in the nation.

"So I feel like any game I go into I'm not going to see too much more competition than what I'm seeing out here right now."

He's also getting plenty of help from the upperclassmen, even though the non-wide receivers are talking a little trash in the process.

"The main people that have been helping me out are Marquan [Jones], Jaron [Brown]and Branden Ford," he said. "A lot of guys tell me, 'hey they don't want to tell you because they don't want you taking their job,' but they are all good people because they know I'm here to help and take stress off their back."

Last but not least, there's this little issue of grasping Clemson's offensive playbook too.

As you would expect- it's not easy.

"It's not easy at all," he said. "We didn't throw the ball that much in high school even though we got the job done. But at Clemson- everything is hand signals so you have to get it in and get it out."

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