Vandy giving local prospect attention

Brycen Hopkins began his football career just last season at Ensworth School in Nashville, Tenn. The big 6-foot-5, 240-pound tight end certainly has D-1 size but he spent that first year honing his talent on the field which has led to offers from Marshall, Mercer, and Purdue.

Hopkins spoke with VandyMania.com on what he's been hearing from the Commodores and where he stands on his recruiting two games into the 2014 season.

"I've been getting a lot of attention from Vanderbilt recently," Hopkins stated. "Basically, they're waiting to see how my season goes. Coach Karl Dorell said that based on what he's seen in year one that I'm making great progress with my blocking. He's not looking at how good I am right now but how good i can be down the road. The next few games are going to be important for me with Vanderbilt. I'm also being looked at by Memphis and Jacksonville State.

"I don't have a lot of experience with this recruiting. I'm going to wait it out a while longer and see where I'm at. Purdue has been really pushing hard, in a good way. I just spoke to Coach Parker about an hour ago. They want me to make the best choice for me, but they said they really want me [at Purdue]."

Basketball was Hopkins sport of choice as an underclassman at Ensworth. Once his size became evident, it didn't take long for the football coaches, who have won four straight Division II-AA state championships, to get out on the playing field.

"I started getting a lot bigger after sophomore year," he explained. "Basically, I'm built for football. I was bigger and taller than a lot of the players, but I didn't know if I'd be any good. I started two-a-days that spring and it's been home-bound ever since. I fell in love with it and left basketball in the background.

"I'm definitely playing, this year, with a lot more confidence with that year under my belt. I know I have the ability to play and play at a high level. I'm stronger, bigger, faster. Last year I was playing at 216 (pounds) and now I'm at 240 with improved speed."

Hopkins and the rest of the Tigers, including Vandy commit Donovan Sheffield, will play an away game this week with Pope John Paul II of Hendersonville. Their currently 2-0 to start the season on their quest for a fifth straight state championship led by head coach Ricky Bowers.

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