The Roswell (Ga.) High School linebacker has three unofficial trips to Rocky Top to go off of already with the most recent coming in late April.
“I leave with a great experience,” Hopper said. “I mean Tennessee is a great place, great atmosphere, great coaches, great facilities. So it was real nice. I liked it.
“They’re one of the schools that made an impression on me before this when they first called me and everything. Coach is really interested in me and said I would be a top recruit. So, yeah, they’re one of the schools already sticking out to me.”
The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder visited for the Alabama game in October 2014 before seeing the Volunteers practice in early April and being in attendance for the Orange & White game.
“Atmosphere was very great,” Hopper said of his most recent Neyland Stadium experience. “I like the coaches and everything. It was a pretty good day. I liked it.
“I just wanted to see the whole team together and play as a unit, see what the defense looked like.
“The atmosphere and the way the defense played (impressed). The defense played really good to me — a lot of big hits, a lot of big plays. So, it was pretty good.”
Prior to enjoying his spring break, the Peach State talent got a full taste of what Tennessee has to offer.
“I was with all the coaches, all the players. I got to tour the campus and everything. I really liked it. I got to tour the facilities and all of that,” Hopper said.
A pair of ACC schools join the Big Orange as programs with staffs in hot pursuit of Hopper.
“Right now I don’t have a list of top schools or anything but the hardest schools recruiting me are Virginia Tech, UNC and Tennessee,” the linebacker said.
“The (Tennessee) coaching staff is always on me, saying how they really like me, how I play, how I have a chance to play my freshman year.”
It is common for Tennessee coaches to collaborate on the recruitment of top prospects. The Scout three-star prospect hears from Vols defensive coordinator John Jancek, recruiting coordinator Robert Gillespie and linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen.
“Right now I’ve been talking to Tommy Thigpen, coach Jancek and coach Gillespie, but I called coach Jancek a few times. We just talk about the position I’ll be playing and what I’d be doing at Tennessee.”
Hopper detailed his game as one that includes attributes schools like Tennessee seek to defend the plentiful supply of spread offenses that load up the schedule yearly.
“I would say I’m a complete player. I can play out in space, play the run, play the pass. So I would say being a complete player is what makes me special,” he said.
Hopper, who said he is not a package deal with four-star linebacker and teammate Tre Lamar, plans to visit more campuses in the coming months.
“I’ll probably visit some schools that have offered this summer that I haven’t been to. I’ll probably visit like Wisconsin and a few schools this summer — and Virginia Tech.”