Wash. DE Charlie Hopkins on his commitment

For Gonzaga Prep High School (Spokane, Wash.) defensive end Charlie Hopkins, the decision to commit to Stanford over offers from schools across the West Coast boiled down to one main factor.

"Mainly the academics," Charlie Hopkins told The Bootleg in a Wednesday night interview. "I liked both schools [finalists Stanford and Washington], but you can't really beat Stanford in my opinion."

So after lengthy discussion with his parents, Hopkins called up Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh Tuesday afternoon to break the news of his decision.

"I just called Coach Harbaugh and told him I had a long conversation with my whole family and I wanted to go to school there," Hopkins said.

Predictably, Harbaugh was thrilled to hear the news.

"He was pretty excited," Hopkins said. "He got pretty fired up."

Once he had made up his mind, Hopkins figured there was no time in postponing the inevitable.

"I don't really want to waste anybody else's time and take up other scholarships for other people," Hopkins said.

Hopkins is being recruited by Stanford to play the defensive end in the Cardinal's 3-4 defensive scheme.

Although he played with his hand on the ground last year, Hopkins will likely shift to more of a hybrid outside linebacker in his final high school season.

"This year they're moving me to what I will playing at Stanford," Hopkins said. "It's a 4-3 defense but I drop back a lot because of blitzes and everything, so it's kind of like the outside linebacker position. It was like half that and half the end I guess."

The four-star recruit has a nice blend of size (6-foot-6, 240-pounds) and speed that will assist him in chasing down ball carriers and quarterbacks alike.

"I have great footwork for how big I am," Hopkins said. "I move really well and am able to shed blocks. I use my size to my advantage."

As evidenced by Hopkins' decision to commit to Stanford in the first place, it's apparent he places a strong emphasis on academics. While visiting Stanford unofficially for one of the Cardinal's earlier Junior Days, Hopkins had a chance to meet with a professor in a field of particular interest.

"I talked to an engineering professor the first time I went down there and that's for sure interesting," Hopkins said.

With a GPA around 3.6 and the SAT scheduled for next weekend, Hopkins is eager to start the Stanford application sooner rather than later.

"They showed me an application and once I get my test scores, they'll be able to get me one," Hopkins said.

And barring something unexpected happening with the admissions process, Hopkins plans on shutting his recruitment down and taking no further visits.

"I'm 100% committed," Hopkins said.

Hopkins committed to Stanford over offers from Washington, Washington State, Oregon, UCLA, Oregon State, and Idaho.

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