Hopkins Hopeful

Trey Hopkins will undoubtedly find success once playing football is no longer an option.

One of the more introspective players to come through UT's program over the last several years, Hopkins has a different outlook on life than a lot of his peers.

You won't find many 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive linemen who even know what a clarinet is, much less, how to play one. But Hopkins is one of them.

He can also play the saxophone.

Before games, he's not listening to some base-infused hip-hop song. Rather he'll sit in front of his locker clearing his head to gospel music with The Bible in hand.

"This is a guy that ranked sixth out of 947 students as a senior at Galena Park (Texas) North Shore High School."

This is a guy that ranked sixth out of 947 students as a senior at Galena Park (Texas) North Shore High School.

Clearly he's going to find some avenue of success after his playing days are done. He just hopes that not for many moons to come.

Hopkins, who has been a fixture on Texas' line since his freshman season in 2010, hopes to hear his name called over the next two days. He's hearing late rounds, most likely "sixth or seventh, or even free agency."

The latter is fine too. He just wants the opportunity to prove himself.

"Right now I'm just relaxing and just trying not to get too stressed or worked up about it," said Hopkins, a two-time All-Big 12 selection. "At this point the way I look at it is everything that was in my control – like how I did at pro day, how coaches saw me, how I handled meetings – I did that to the best of my ability. Now it's up to other people."

If those other people – code for NFL front offices – are going to call his name it will likely be on Saturday when the NFL Draft wraps things up with rounds 4-7.

Though the time has passed for him to meet with any other teams face-to-face – he did meet with the likes of Cleveland and Cincinnati – Hopkins does have one last sales pitch.

"You are getting a reliable, dependable guy. I get the job done," he said. "I've been thrown in as a freshman and had to learn the concepts pretty fast. Going from tackle to playing guard the next year. Being the type of guy that when you need a job to get done, you can throw me in there and the job will get done."

Versatility is the name of his game. Hopkins started 28 games at left guard and 14 at right tackle as a Longhorn.

He surprised himself with a 32-inch vertical jump at Texas' pro day and proved he had some pop by benching 225 pounds 28 times, which would have been good enough to tie for 14th at the NFL Combine.

"I'm hearing a lot of people say they like my athleticism and the way I move," he said. "They say I have some pop."

"I'm hearing a lot of people say they like my athleticism and the way I move," he said. "They say I have some pop."

When jobs are on the line, as they are for NFL franchises' scouting departments, it's their job to present their superiors with all the ammunition necessary to either warrant a draft pick or to pass on a prospect. Sometimes that can lead to disheartening information.

For Hopkins, the knock on him has been his size, which he's gotten used to.

"I have been knocked about my size," he said. "I'm not the typical size you want a lineman to be at but seeing the way I move, and seeing how that correlates on the field, that has impressed some teams.

"It was definitely discouraging at the beginning. But it's something that's not in my control. It's not up to me. I just have to work with what I have and make sure that what I do have is as good as it can be."

Hopkins has been in Houston trying to perfect his craft since his pro day and remains hopeful that someone will call his name.

"I just want the chance to make the team, to make somebody's roster," he said. "It's crazy to think that my time at Texas went by so fast. It's a dream of being in this situation. You just realize how few people get this opportunity."

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