Heading into the 2012 season when most people think about Clemson's offense and passing attack, the first name that normally comes to mind is Sammy Watkins. It appeared as though Nuk Hopkins was an afterthought. But with Watkins out most of the early part of the season, Hopkins has showed that he is capable of carrying the team.
Last season, Watkins burst onto the scene and received an array of well deserved hype. With all the hype for Watkins, Hopkins' performance went mostly unnoticed. Nuk totaled 72 receptions, 4th at Clemson all-time, and 978 yards, 6th most by a Tiger receiver alltime. He became one of 6 players in ACC history to have over 50 receptions as both a freshman and as a sophomore. He's been very good, yet there were many questions about what Clemson would do in Watkins' absence.
With no Sammy, most defenses shifted toward trying to shut down Hopkins. So far that has not worked. Hopkins has torched opposing defenses for 604 yards, 42 receptions, and 6 TDs. He's on pace to finish the regular season with over 1400 yards, 100 receptions, and 14 TDs. He has been able to go over 100 yards in each game that Watkins hasn't played when most defenses would key on him. Nuk has the ability to get open in many ways. He's a good route runner and, even though he is not considered to be a fast wide out, he still manages to get open deep. He is a complete receiver and catches nearly every ball that's thrown his way.
Nuk has established himself as not only one of the best receivers in the ACC, but one of the best in the country. He has a knack for coming up in big moments and making the tough catches. At the end of the 2012 season, many Clemson fans might be hoping Hopkins will turn down the NFL to come back for his senior season. At the pace he's on now, it could be hard for him to turn down.Back to the Clemson Tigers Newsfeed