Stephen Hopkins Talks about the First Month

The early-entry RB from Texas talks about how the transition to college is going, who has been helping him the most, who he compares himself to ... and of course about Mike Barwis.

Question: Is there another player who has helped you learn the playbook and has maybe taken you under their wing to help you understand?

Stephen Hopkins: "Tate Forcier has been real good. He has helped me acclimate to everything. He has taught me some stuff on seven on sevens. I've learned all the plays. I've learned all the signals. I'm getting ahead of the game like I wanted to."

Question: In the past Rich Rodriguez has had the fast, quick little guys and there are those guys on this team and with you being more of a big bruiser type; how do yourself sort of fitting in to his offense?

Stephen Hopkins: "When I was being recruited I was told that I had to replace Brandon Minor, because he saw how good he was when he was healthy and it made the offense 10 times better. So that's what I came in to do just be as good as Brandon Minor was."

Question: Do you think that you fill those shoes?

Stephen Hopkins: "I think I can. Definitely with the weights and Barwis and everything, I definitely can. I can't even imagine how good I'm going to be in the fall."

Question: Coming from Texas, obviously you are pretty far away from here, now seeing the program from the outside, obviously two rough seasons, did you ever waver at all thinking that this team seems to be going through a rough time…

Stephen Hopkins: "No not really."

Question: On if he ever waivered on his decision to attend Michigan.

Stephen Hopkins: "I never really wavered because I knew that Michigan was going…pretty much every great program has gone through some tough times. No one has won 11 or 12 games every year since they've been a school. I knew it was going to change. I like Coach Rodriguez and I definitely think he is going to turn around and I want to be a part of that."

Question: Coach Jackson was both your position coach and also your lead recruiter; how did that really helped in terms of the recruiting process, getting to know not only your position coach?

Stephen Hopkins: "It helped a lot. I did not have to go to a different guy to ask questions about my position in the offense. He was right there so when I talked about general stuff, I could talk to him about that too, so it helped a lot."

Question: How good of a recruiter is Coach Jackson; what did he really tell you when he was out there and in home?

Stephen Hopkins: "He's a cool guy. He's a funny guy. I like him a lot and that's one of the big reasons I came here was because I love Coach Jackson and the running backs he's had here before."

Question: What did he come and tell you about the bigger backs? Coach Jackson has put a lot of backs in the NFL; how big was that to you?

Stephen Hopkins: "It was huge. I wanted a guy that knew what he was doing and help me elevate my game to a place where I couldn't do it myself. It definitely was a huge factor for me."

Question: Other than Brandon Minor what other former Michigan running back that you sort of mold yourself after sort of speak?

Stephen Hopkins: "After Brandon Minor, I'd like to say Anthony Thomas, but I do not think I'm quite as powerful as he was. Coach Jackson said Chris Perry when he came out of high school, I remind him a lot, a little bit bigger, but Chris Perry."

Question: So you going to rock the 23 then since Carlos (Brown) is giving it up?

Stephen Hopkins: "Naw. I'm actually wearing #33."

Question: How has the school transition been?

Stephen Hopkins: "It hasn't been too bad. The school I came from was pretty good academically, so they prepared me pretty well. We have a lot of help with academic people so it has been pretty good."

Question: Is there anything that you want to give up to Michigan fans before spring ball starts here?

Stephen Hopkins: "(Laughing) You're going to see a lot better team on the field that's for sure."

Question: Biggest question of the day; what's the transition been like for you the last month?

Stephen Hopkins: "It's been real smooth. I have a lot of help with academic advisors and all that and coaches. It's been really, really smooth. I haven't had any problems so far except the workouts – those are hard. Other than that everything is good."

Question: I make sure that I get everyone to comment on Barwis and there first couple of experiences with him; how is Barwis treating you?

Stephen Hopkins: "What everybody thinks about Barwis is true. He never loses energy; he's a crazy guy. He really is, but he gets the job done. He's one of the best."


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