Hopkins Pushes Up His Plans

The original plan was for Dustin Hopkins to visit Notre Dame in July while he was attending a Kohl's Kicking Camp in Chicago. After some deliberating, those plans have been accelerated.

Dustin Hopkins will be on Notre Dame's campus this coming Monday.

"Coach (Mike) Haywood and coach (Brian) Polian have been trying to get me up there since they offered me," the Houston, Texas product said. The Irish offered him on May 20th. "We were going to come down and see it sometime regardless, but we figured this would be a good time to do it. We kind of did it. Not spur of the moment, but we made the decision and went with it."

Hopkins will travel with his parents and sister. He wasn't sure of the exact itinerary. The could make it a few-day trip, and check out Chicago and Northwestern, another program recruiting him.

"I've always said I wanted to get the whole process done early so I can focus on my senior year, so I wanted to get it out of the way and make an assessment, so that way I don't waste my time and other people's time," Hopkins said of Notre Dame.

"I'm sure I'm going to visit more schools this summer, but I don't think we know which ones yet."

With that being said, it's not out of the realm of possibility that the recruiting process could end early next week for the nation's top kicker.

"I guess it's always a possibility," Hopkins said. "I couldn't tell you right now because I've never been there, but never say never.

"I think programs and me, if it's a fit, it's a fit. If it's not, we kind of want to get an idea of what it's all about so that way we're not waiting."

Hopkins has also been offered by Baylor, where his sister is a student, Florida State, Kansas State and Missouri. Northwestern and Miami have told his Clear Lake High head coach that they have offers on the way as well.

Named class 5-A first team all-state this past season, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Hopkins connected on 6-of-7 field goals. Two came from 43 yards out. He also made all 37 extra point attempts, and averaged 73 yards per boot on kickoffs. On several occasions, Hopkins has put his kickoff through the uprights.

"I got a hold of some pretty good," he stated.

Hopkins has made a 75-yard field goal with a one-inch tee, and recently connected from 65 yards out without one. His career long in a game is 48 yards.


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